Note: Please add your organization/collective and disseminate the statement that is in the link below in protest and solidarity with the repression in Peru around the social and environmental conflicts generated by mining.
Deadline: 10 July.
(see the text of the petition at the bottom of this post)
Peru: three dead in Cajamarca anti-mining protests
Watch GJEP ally Bill Weinberg on Democracy Now! reporting on the status of the protests in Peru (Bill is a freelance journalist who was recently in Cajamarca reporting forThe Progressive magazine. He’s also the editor of the World War 4 Report.)
Cross-Posted from WW4 Report, 07/03/2012
Three people were killed—including a youth of 17 years—when security forces fired on protesters July 3 in the town of Celendín, in Peru’s northern region of Cajamarca. As hundreds of protesters marched through town, a group attacked the provincial government building, breaking windows.* A mixed force of some 500 soldiers and National Police troops attacked the group with tear-gas, and then opened fire. In addition to the three dead, some 20 were wounded. Authorities said five soldiers and two police were injured in the clash. Protest organizers, who oppose the planned Conga gold mine project, speculated that the attack on the government building was the work of agents provocateurs. Peru’s Justice Minister Juan Jiménez announced that a state of emergency has been declared in the provinces of Celendín, Hualgayoc and Cajamarca, suspending basic civil rights. In an unusual move, the 16 detained were taken out of Cajamarca, to Chiclayo in Lambayeque region. (Celendín Libre, La Republica, RPP, Peru21, Peru.com, TeleSUR, Sociedad Política blog, La Mula via Terra.com, July 3)
Cajamarca’s regional president Gregorio Santos placed the blame for the deaths squarely on President Ollanta Humala. “Those principally responsible are President Humala and his cabinet… Their hands are stained with blood.” He said the deaths are “the cost for [Humala] not complying” with the promises made on the campaign trail last year—referring to his pledge to halt the Conga project. Santos added that US-based Newmont Mining, which hopes to develop the Conga mine, “should be expelled form the country.” Days earlier, protest leader Marco Arana had warned, “If they impose Conga, there will be a bloodbath.” (Peru.com,Trome, Sociedad Política, July 3; Correo, Peru.com, june 26)
* The municipal government of Celendín is one of the few in the region that support the Conga project.
Peru: one more dead in Cajamarca; protest leader detained
Cross-Posted from WW4 Report, 07/05/2012
With three provinces of Peru’s northern Cajamarca region under a state of emergency, police again fired on protesters July 4 in Bambamarca, seat of Hualgayoc province, leaving one man dead. Another six were wounded, at least some gravely, although accounts do not make clear if the wounds are from bullets. Authorities said one National Police officer was also injured in the confrontation in the town’s Plaza de Armas. (Perú21, Peru.com, Sociedad Política, July 4) Meanwhile in Cajamarca’s regional capital, protest leader Marco Arana was detained by police troops for continuing to call public meetings despite emergency measures restricting freedom of assembly. Arana was reportedly accosted by police while sitting on a bench in the city’s central square, the Plaza de Armas. He is still being held at the city’s National Police headquarters, but did manage to get out a Twitter message saying he had been badly roughed up in custody—struck in the face and kidneys, and verbally insulted. (La Republica, 24 Horas, Radio Nacional, El Comercio, RPP, July 4)
The day before his arrest, Arana’s political organization Tierra y Libertad had issued a statement in response to that day’s killing of three protesters in Celendín province, expressing solidarity with the families of the slain, and pointing out that a total of 15 have been killed in social conflicts nationwide since President Ollanta Humala took power last year. Refering to the gold-mining project that has occasioned the Cajamarca protests, the statement warned Humala: “You cannot impose the Conga project with deaths, injuries, detentions, states of emergency and more violence.” (La Republica, July 4)
Please add your organization/collective and disseminate the statement that is in the link below in protest and solidarity with the repression in Peru around the social and environmental conflicts generated by mining.
The text is in spanish, so here it is a quick self-translation of the main part:
We the undersigned want to express our disgust for the alarming increase of repression and the violation of fundamental rights happening in Peru as a governmental response to the environemntal conflicts in the last months.
For weeks this totally irresponsible and disproportionate response including undiscriminate use of firearms, even from helicopters, against protesters has caused:
• five people to be dead and dozens of wounded at the Celendín conflict in the Cuzco department;
• one person dead and several wounded by bullets in Bambamarca;
• five more deaths and several bullet wounded during the movilizations of the Celendín population (Cajamarca) against the mining project called Conga, which threats high contamination and the disappearance of water sources in the region.
In this context, we denounce the violation of the rights of Mr. Marco Arana, member of the environmental colective Grupo de Formación e Intervención para el Desarrollo Sostenible (GRUFIDES), one of the groups organizing the mining resistance and leader of the political force “Tierra y Libertad”. All of this together with state of emergency measures and preventing liberties in both conflicts.
With the precedents of Honduras first and recently Paraguay, we are afraid that these conflicts are part of an increasing dynamic of crushing liberties and civil rights of the people in several countries in Latin America, for the defense of the different multinational interests and extractive businesses.