Reporting on the conflict between the mega mining project Conga and the people of Cajamarca, Peru
Maxima Acuña de Chaupe, the human rights defender who has stood up to the world´s second largest gold producer and refused to leave her land, has received numerous death threats from a Yanacocha worker allegedly acting on orders from the company.
The worker, who is employed by Yanacocha to supposedly watch the alpacas that Yanacocha strategically placed in front of Maxima´s home, threatened to ´make her disappear´, reported Maxima´s son Daniel on Thursday, 30th July.
Maxima is living in a state of constant fear due to these threats and the imposing presence of Yanacocha and their workers. Despite the fact that Maxima and her family have been granted protective measures (´medidads cautelares´) by the Inter-Amercian Human Rights Commission the state has taken no action to secure the family`s safety.
Taking advantage of new oppressive laws brought in under the so-called ´anti-environment paquetazos´, Yanacocha requested that a judge in Celendin rule that Maxima and her family could not carry out any type of agricultural activity on their land – such as planting crops or constructing animal shelters. The controversal judge who has made previous questionable judgements, Julissa Aseijas Silva, approved this request. If any such activity takes place the mining company can invade, with the help of the police, and violently put a stop to them. Yanacocha has not hesitiated to act on this oppressive ruling and on numerous occasions has entered Maxima´s land without permission and destroyed several constructions, stolen animals and destroyed crops.
The psychological tortue that Maxima and her family are living under is indescribable. After a horrendous four year court process, which ended in the declaration of innocence of Maxima and her family, Maxima believed they could live in peace. Sadly this was not to be as the company seem intent on driving the campesino family of their rightful land at all costs.
Amnesty International has released various URGENT ACTIONS in aid of Maxima.