Reporting on the conflict between the mega mining project Conga and the people of Cajamarca, Peru
Demand that the judgment of Maxima Acuña Chaupe and her family is fair and consistent with the law.
Now is a critical moment to show our support with Maxima Acuña Chaupe, woman defender of life, the environment and human rights.
‘I fear for my life, for the life of my husband, for the lives of my children and for the lives of the people in my community who defend us and our water’ (Máxima Chaupe).
On Friday, December 13th, in the Juzgado Penal Unipersonal Celendín, the last hearing of the legal case brought by the mining company Yanacocha against Maxima Acuña Chaupe and her family will be held. Maxima and her family are at risk of losing their land and being forcibly evicted.
Please take a minute to add your name, or the name of your organization, to our petition to the Peruvian authorities requesting that the legal process is handled fairly and in accordance with the law.
Please read the following letter and send by:
Fax: Copy and paste into a Word document, print, sign your name/ name of your organizacion and your identification number (if desired) and send by fax to the various authorities listed below the letter.
Email: Copy and paste into an email, sign your name/ name of your organizacion and your identification number (if desired) and send by email to the various authorities listed below the letter.
Sign the petition on change.org here:
Sign the petition by ULAM here:
I am writing to you to request that you do all in your power to ensure that the legal case against the Acuña Chaupe family, now residing with the Juzgado Penal Unipersonal Celendin, is carried out impartially and in accordance with the law, without repeating the judicial errors of law and fact of the previous judgment of October 2012.
I wish to denounce the human rights abuses that Maxima Acuña Chaupe and her family have suffered and the psychological trauma that this legal process has caused them.
As a Peruvian authority, we urge you to:
• Thoroughly investigate all acts of human rights violations, intimidation, threats and harassment to Maxima Acuña Chaupe and her family, committed by the Yanacocha mining company, its private security forces and the National Police of Peru.
• Thoroughly investigate the role of Yanacocha in illegal evictions and illegal acquisition of private property in areas of their projects.
• Provide protection to ensure that no further abuses of human rights against Maxima and her family members occur.
• Urge the judiciary to objectively assess the case, taking into account all information and evidence to issue an appropriate ruling in line with the law.
• Request a declaration from the Ombudsman and the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations, on the violations of human rights suffered by Maxima Acuña Chaupe and her family, committed by the Yanacocha mining company, its private security forces and the National Police of Peru.
(SIGNATURE OF THE INDIVIDUAL OR ORGANIZATION)
(IDENTITY NUMBER IF DESIRED)
ADDRESSES WHERE TO SEND THE LETTERS:
Eduardo Vega Luna
Defensor del Pueblo (e)
Telephone: 311 0300 – Anexo 1202
Ombudsman – Cajamarca branch
Agustín Moreno Díaz
Los Fresnos N 231, Urb. El Ingenio, Cajamarca
Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations
Minister: Ana Ethel Jara Velásquez
Telephone: 416-5200 anx 3012
Minister of Justice and Human Rights
Minister of Justice: Dr. Daniel Augusto Figallo Rivadeneyra
Telephone: 204-8020 anexo 1102/1103
Fax: 204-8020 anexo 1421 / 1206
President of the Judiciary
Dr. Enrique Javier Mendoza Ramírez
Central telephone: 4101010 anexo 11020
Dr.José Antonio Paláez Bardales
Av. Abancay cdra. 5 s n,
Fax: +511 4271792
Minister: Abog. Walter Albán Peralta
La plaza 30 de Agosto s n Urb. Corpac –
El San Isidro, Lima, Perú
Fax: +511 204 81 10
Máxima Acuñe Chaupe is at daily risk of being evicted from her family home in Tragadero Grande, District of Sorochuco, en the region of Cajamarca. Since 2011 she has been subjected to violent eviction attempts and continued threats from the mining company Yanaococha and the Special Operations Division of the Peruvian National Police (DINOES), who have been contracted to work for the mining company. The current high police presence in the area is a constant reminder that her home and future are no longer secure; her land is wanted for the Conga mining project. This project would destroy the mountain lakes which provide clean water to the communities in the zone, to extract gold, copper and silver.
In 1994 Máxima bought the land where she currently lives with her family. In 2011 she refused to sell it to Yanacocha for the Conga mining project. However, Yanacocha argues that the land has been sold to them directly by the managers of the Sorochuco community, and on this basis have tried to expel the family several times using the police and private security personnel.
One such incident occurred on the 10th August 2011, which left both Máxima and her daughter unconscious at the hands of the DINOES, their shelters destroyed, and various of their animals dead. Despite this the family has resisted the evictions.
More recently, Maxima stated that on 30th January 2013, DINOES entered her property and attempted to evict her and her family without any eviction order or legal mandate. Since March 2013, the DINOES have been permanently positioned outside her home. Despite Yanacocha`s claim that Maxima had previously sold her land to them and is now squatting illegally, she strongly refutes this and has the paperwork to show her ownership.
Since violent intimidation didn`t work, Yanacocha then brought the family to trial for ILLEGAL OCCUPATION. This initially went in favour of the mining company; the judge of Celendín Province, on 29th October 2012, convicted the family of “illegal occupation or usurpation”, condemning them to three years suspended imprisonment and the payment of compensation in favor of Yanacocha. In July 2013 the High Court of Cajamarca overturned this ruling due to various legal and factual irregularities, including failure to consider a critical piece of evidence – the document of possession of the family.
This was not the end, however, Yanacocha has brought the family back to the courtroom as they persist in this legal harassment. The final hearing will be held on Tuesday, 3rd December in the Juzgado Penal Unipersonal Celendín, at 12 midday. The Chaupe family fears that the rulling will once again fall in favor of the mining company; they feel that up until now the Peruvian government and the judicial system have failed against their own citizens and have sided with the mining company.