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martes, 7 de febrero de 2012

Long March for Water and Life in Peru

PERU. - 1 to February 11 develops the Long March in Peru National Right to Water and Life, in defense of natural assets and to reject mining in the region of Cajamarca. Convened under the auspices of the social opposition front Minas Conga project.
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Against mining communities.
Minas Conga is a mining mega-project, managed by the transnational Yanacocha, a consortium formed by Newmont and Peru's Buenaventura, also counting on support from the World Bank through the International Finance Corporation. The project aims to begin the extraction of heavy metals (gold and copper) in two lagoons open to the northwest of the capital of the province, in the territory of several indigenous communities. This would mean the drying of several of these gaps, which are central to the local ecosystem, and the contamination of other water resources in the area, among other serious environmental, social, economic and cultural.
In an interview with the newspaper Diagonal, Secundino Silva, president of the Committee to Support Celendín Cajamarca, claimed that the population of the region "is a victim of more than 18 years of pollution of their water, soil and air, plus other abuses and irresponsibility Yanacocha mining company. They include poisoning, unpunished today, over 1,200 families in Choropampa mercury spill in 2000, the murder of Isidro Llanos Combayo farmer, in 2006, and the aggression of November 29 peasants who defended the The Conga lagoon Perol, with at least two gunshot wounds that left with lifelong disability. "
Such transnational mining company, had had conflicts with local communities in the case of Cerro Quilish (also in Cajamarca) a fragile ecosystem in which Yanacocha intended to intervene to extract gold. Also in that case was put in serious risk of water resources that provided water to local communities, and then, public pressure managed to stop the project.

Crisis of government.
As in the Cerro Quilish, in the case of Minas Conga, the Regional Government of Cajamarca itself declared the project feasible, noting among other reasons, its proximity with respect to important water sources.
Meanwhile, the Peruvian government, headed by President Ollanta Humala, seems to be located on the side of the transnational mining. Thus, as Secundino Silva, "to quell the indefinite strike began on November 24, declared a state of emergency [which ended on December 15], then moved to temporary stop arbitrarily and illegally to our leaders, and harassing activists anti-Conga. Lately, ignoring the people's representatives Cajamarca, the government recruited people linked to Yanacocha, and mayors of districts where the project is not presenting them as new partners. "
In fact, it was the Prime Minister, Oscar Valdés, who announced the filing of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the regional government ordinance that raises the impossibility, considering that the regional government "overstepped his duties." Some social organizations now demand pressures on the Constitutional Tribunal (TC) for rapid resolution of the process.
These institutional actions have not only questioned Humala's commitment to defend communities against mining TNCs, but provoked a deep crisis in his government (in December gave the former prime minister, Solomon Lerner with his entire cabinet, which called for a resolution to the conflict through dialogue Minas Conga).

The Long March for Water and Life.
In this scenario, has been called the Grand National March for Water and Life, with the primary objective of protecting water and natural assets, including those to be affected by the Minas Conga project. It also calls for the prohibition of the use of cyanide and mercury mining.
The call for the march was conducted by the Regional Defense Coalition and Environmental peasant patrols and Cajamarca Regional Council (regional government) and has received numerous supports, social and indigenous organizations, including those of the Interethnic Association for Development Peruvian Jungle (AIDESEP) and the National Confederation of Communities Affected by Mining Peru (CONACAMI)
The mobilization, which began on February 1, left Cajamarca, with a visit to the lakes threatened by transnational mining and ending in Lima, 10 this month.
In a statement from the CONACAMI, materialize the objectives of the march in the need to sensitize the state and civil society around the collective rights of peoples of Peru, primarily the right to choose "development that we as a people, based on the Good Life, and respect for Mother Nature. "
According to the Confederation, the Peruvian government violates human rights and imposes a model that has not been consulted or have the consent of the communities. This model takes into government support for its Minas Conga emblematic reference, in view of the terrible impact that the project will have on communities, should be approved.

Against this, the Long March proposed an alternative lifestyle, based on "the defense of human dignity, respect and environmental rights of all living beings that we are welcomed by the Pachamama."

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