Posted on 07 December 2011.
PT ES FR
In response to the state of emergency imposed by the Peruvian government to protect an unviable mining project “Conga”, in breach of fundamental human rights, and environmental policies of the Peruvian people in Cajamarca. Indignant runakuna demonstrating in Cajamarca (Perú) “Conga NO! Life and water are worth more than gold”
The indignant movement has spread worldwide struggling to protect and vindicate the rights and public spaces of the citizens, as social actors of change and of direct political participation, against the greed and economic interests of a few who have established “policies” of anti-social injustice. The movement is present in every corner of the world and it claims global demands without forgetting the particularities of each context. Thus, the indignation caused by the Conga, unfeasible mining megaproject, has led to the Peruvian citizens to
manifest peacefully against the implementation thereof.
The government’s response to the protests has been to declare, without legal basis, a state of emergency to repress the people (siege), This intrusion of the military seeking to protect the private interests of Newmont Mining, a transnational corporation and ignoring the people’s voice, who claim “we are not commodities in the hands of politicians, bankers and transnational companies” and “our livelihood is not for sale, it is to be protected”
According to the International Criminal Court, a crime against humanity is “violence to life, health and physical or mental well-being of persons, as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population” by, for example declaring siege, without a legal justification.
Thus, the interference of the military to enforce the command from the executive management of the Peruvian state (state of emergency) infringes any legal basis and the fundamental rights of the citizens of Cajamarca, by restricting the freedom of the indignant, who demonstrated peacefully, upraising against the violation of their rights and livelihoods and the imposition of a mining mega-project, which at all levels puts the population at risk.
This is a project that only benefits the interests of a transnational that corrupts
politicians in order to make profits. Activities of Newmont Mining Corporation
company are known worldwide, their mining practices more than once have
been related to serious harm to entire populations and the environment, causing irreparable damages.
There are several releases that have declared the existence of deficiencies in both the Conga project reports, studies and possible physical processes or gravimetry, as well as water resources management and analysis of predictive mathematical models. In adition, the nomination and application of molecular biology technology and genetic manipulation of bacteria to turn the tailings innocuous – called disruptive technologies-, described by some “interested” advocates who defend this particular type of mining projects, lack of any scientific and technical support. It is known from studies issued in Canada, that there is no technology able to mitigate, reduce and nullify the harmful environmental effects of using 10 or more tons / day of explosives, which releases toxic gases and acids characteristic of the explosion, and other noxious “gases that have been trapped for centuries in the innards of the
earth (and) that are released into the atmosphere abruptly.” And the tailings ponds, subjected to control and manipulation by the miners, always have poor monitoring of the institutions of state, and they don’t get the treatment that should be applied to the neutralization according to the rules and procedures, to avoid as far as possible pollution of fresh water sources in the area of intervention.
It is noteworthy that the Conga project is an open pit mining project in the headwaters of a watershed, which feeds at least five water systems. The resulting pollution seriously endangers the health of the people, the environment, and agricultural and business activity in the area, potentially causing drying and disappearance of 4 lakes.
On the other hand, it is important to note that, unlike other countries, environmental impact studies that are based on extractive projects in Peru are not approved by the Ministry of Environment, and “are performed by consultants hired and paid by the stakeholder companies”, “thereby subtracting credibility to the subject matter hereof and lacking scientific
value”. In the present case, the preparation of the EIA is carried out by consulting closely linked to the Yanacocha mine, who has been causing irreversible damage to the town of Cajamarca for the last 17 years.
These studies do not meet the satisfactory conditions to embody serious reports by UNOPS and OEFA, among UN and allow the violation of fundamental rights protected by the Peruvian Constitution (Art. 38 º, 45 º, 51 º and 138 º 2nd paragraph of the Constitution) that are outlined as follows:
- Thy do not guarantee effectively the right to an adequate and balanced environment that is contained in art. 2.22 of the Constitution. There is no sustainable economic demarcation, or consideration of the OEFA, thus violating a possible balanced development, conservation, and prevention of risks, not concreted specifically in the current design of the EIA approval. (STC Exp. Nº 3510-2003-AA, f.j. 2.e y Exp. Nº 0048-2004-PI f.j. 18)
There is a basic incompatibility with the fundamental right to promote and
ensure a balanced environment, a right recognized in Article 44 of the Constitution.
- The Peruvian government shows not interest in removing the legal and illegal obstacles that prevent the exercise of fundamental rights and environmental matters, held in Article 2 of the American Convention on Human Rights and developed by American Court of Human Rights (Court HR) “and in Article 67 of the Constitution, which requires the Peruvian government to develop a national policy on risk management and environmental care”.
- They do not give rise to any agreement by consulting the people involved,
contravention with the ILO 169.
There is no amount of money that can compensate the damage caused, or the consequences and diseases caused to the population. The –so called- development that wants to be sold to the citizens is an attempt to disguise the real interest directly towards their private assets, diminishing the real possibilities the population to have access to their own resources.
The indignant movement demands a real democracy in which the affairs of the state, that are within its competence, are taken into account through consultation or referendum, so that public participation is effective, and plausible and recognized consensus is achieved, fed from the collective intelligence and democratic participation. Only then the citizens can protect
both their public rights and their right to protect themselves, nurture and maintain their livelihoods and environment. It is mandatory that the people’s voice is taken into account and gets back the power to react against any state contract with transnational companies that seek their own interests, because the population is not a tool for projects that are not viable and pretend to run at the expense and to detriment of the people.
“We shall not allow the economic power of a few, like Newmont Mining Corporatioon, control everything in Cajamarca, including availing itself of the Peruvian army and airports to defend and monitor their economic greed-laden purposes.”
International movement of indignant, Legal Team International.
Mining Yanacocha and the environmental damages.
According to the WHO report that accounts for the presence of heavy metals in living organisms (plants, animals and humans), and the significant pollution that exists, causing various diseases irreversible to entire populations around
the mine. Contamination of the water supply and groundwater in the Yanacocha mining area.
“THE LIFE AND WATER WORTH MORE THAN GOLD” .. Conga NO!!
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