Más de 80 organizaciones en defensa de los derechos humanos se unieron hoy a la protesta de miles de peruanos en contra del avance minero más grande expuesto por la Minera Yanacocha, Buenaventura y Newmont Mining: el proyecto Conga en Cajamarca. El miedo surge por el temor de que las más importantes fuentes de agua de esta región sean eliminadas, por el plan de vaciar completamente los tres lagos de montaña natural y usar los reservorios para acumular enormes cantidades de líquido tóxico generado por el funcionamiento de minas.
The Peruvian government must immediately halt violent repression of mining protesters, more than 80 environmental and human rights organizations demanded today in a statement that will be delivered to Peruvian embassies and consulates across the United States and Canada.
Protests against Peru‘s biggest mining project have been brutally put down in June and July in incidents that have left five people dead, including a 17-year-old boy, and dozens of others injured.
The protesters oppose the $4.8 billion Conga gold and copper mining project in the northern Andean province of Cajamarca, out of fear that their water supplies will be contaminated.
Mining company Minera Yanacocha last week began preparations for the construction of water reservoirs at the Conga project. Newmont Mining Co., a Denver, Colorado-based company that is the world’s second largest gold mining firm, is the project’s majority owner. Peruvian mining company Buenaventura is the minority owner.
The protesters object to mining company plans to drain three pristine mountain lakes and replace them with the reservoirs, and generate massive quantities of toxic mine waste.
Protests intensified in the last week of June after Newmont announced that the company would move forward with the Conga mine, despite growing community opposition.