Reporting on the conflict between the mega mining project Conga and the people of Cajamarca, Peru
Today, 13th December 2013, Yanacocha and the Public Prosecutor have once again shown their inhumanity through their relentless attack on the Chaupe family.
This, the fifth hearing of the court case that Yanacocha has brought against the Chaupe family to evict them from their land, should have been the last but the Public Prosecutor, clearly working hand in hand with, or rather for, Yanacocha, spent the entire two and a half hours reading clauses that could and should have been read in 2 minutes, according to Mirtha Vasquez of GRUFIDES, lawyer to the Chaupe family.
A similar tactic was utilized at the previous hearing on 3rd December, and the time before the Prosecutor failed to show up, not informing the family or their lawyer beforehand and having them travel two days to get there only to have to turn around and go back.
This deliberate time wasting is believed to be a strategy by the combined forces of Yanacocha and the Public Prosecution to leave the Chaupe family without legal defense at the most crucial stage of the case as Dr. Vasquez is in a very delicate state of health – on the point of giving birth. She had been medically advised that the journey to Celendin from Cajamarca (3 hours on an unfinished road) would be putting her life and that of her unborn child at risk. She took the risk, hoping and not unreasonably expecting that the process would be concluded today, however she was not even permitted a chance to speak with the Prosecution reading drone-like for two and a half hours. He read like he was learning to read, the Judge having to correct him many times and instruct him on how to read numbers. He got confused about the annexed pages the narrative was referring to, seeming to all the world like he had never laid eyes on the document before – begging the question who wrote it? Yanacocha`s lawyer sitting at the Prosecutor`s side seemed suspiciously more familiar with the arguments. The Judge also could have and should have put a stop to the pointless lecture.
Another date was set for the 19th December, possibly to subject the family to much of the same, but no need as their tactic has come to fruition – the Chaupe`s now find themselves without a defense lawyer as Dr. Vasquez cannot risk her life nor that of her unborn child any more. The most that they could suspend the hearing for by law is 8 days – by which time Dr. Vasquez would be in an even more delicate state. If they suspend the process more than this they have to begin the whole process again from scratch. The family`s only hope is to find another lawyer immediately who is experienced, trustworthy, and willing to dedicate themselves full-time in order to catch up with the extensive case history.
As concerned brothers and sisters we call for justice for Maxima, Jaime and their family; as Dr. Vasquez stated `Justice isn`t just the law, it also has a human face`. The mining company needs to stop using the law as a means to further oppress this humble, honest family, and the judicial system needs to stop facilitating this legal, yet criminal act.