Reporting on the conflict between the mega mining project Conga and the people of Cajamarca, Peru
On 26th November, 2015 thousands took to the streets of Cajamarca to denounce destructive work by Minera Yanacocha mining on their sacred, life-giving mountain lake – Laguna El Perol. Delegations came from the three affected provinces – Celendin, Cajamarca and Hualgayoc, of the Cajamarca region.
The organisations that organised the march included: Plataforma Inteinstitucional Celendina, Rondas Campesinas de la provincia de Celendín, Sutep de la provincia de Celendín, Frente de Defensa del distrito de Huasmín, Frente de Defensa del Distrito de Sorochuco, Frente de Defensa de la Cuenca del río Jadibamba, Frente de Defensa de la provincia de Hualgayoc – Bambamarca, Central de RondasCampesinas de Bambamarca, Juntas Vecinales de Bambamarca, Sutep de la provincia Hualgayoc – Bambamarca, Federación Regional de Rondas Campesinas de Cajamarca, Frente de Defensa Ambiental de Cajamarca, Central Única Nacional de Rondas Campesinas del Perú.
The march was decided upon at an inter-provincial assembly held at the El Perol lagoon on 20th October and had the aim of rejecting the work that Minera Yanaocha has been carrying out on the El Perol dam, as seen on the inspection carried out on the same day. The protesters also aimed to show the government and Yanacocha that the mega mining project Conga does not have a social licence and that the local population are not disposed to permit the continuation of such works.
Agriculturalists proclaim: YANACOCHA GET OUT OF PERU!
The Defense Front of the District of Sorochuco, which would be one of the districts of Celendin, Cajamarca most gravely affected by the Conga mining project.
Milton Sanchez Cubas, General Secretary of the Plataforma Interinstitucional Celendina, addresses the march.
Edy Benevides, Mayor of the Province of Hualgayoc, shows his continued support of the struggle against what would be the most damaging mining project in Latin America
Maxima Acuna de Chaupe, the brave campesino woman who stood up to the mine and refused to sell her land, continues to stand up with dignity and courage.
The local population of Cajamarca highlight that the threat does not end with Conga, but extends to the long line of mega mining projects waiting on the doorstep, hoping that Conga will break down the door for them.
The brave human rights defender, Emperatriz of the Sorochuco community, is present despite health problems and despite being on trial and facing a 35 year jail sentence solely for defending her land and water.
Resistencia Celendina Presente!
Photo credits: Elvira Vasquez Huaman