Religious and Civil Society Groups Challenge Violent Repression of Peruvian Mining Protests
July 12th, 2012
The Oblates JPIC Office joined a broad array of civil society and religious groups expressing serious concern to the Peruvian government about the “alarming escalation in the repression of free speech, police brutalities, and human rights violations” in the country, largely related to mining activities. Indigenous communities, whose water supplies and way of life are threatened by the mining developments, have refused their consent to such projects. The government’s response has been heavy-handed, with the death of five people since the beginning of July 2012, and numerous injuries. The international groups resolved to continue to monitor and publicize developments, and asked the government to:
- Immediately halt the repression and violent attacks against protestors.
- Lift the “State of Emergency” that violates citizen rights and has led to the militarization of the region, with the potential to lead to additional acts of violence.
- Immediately undertake an independent investigation into the brutal arrest of Father Marco Arana and the intimidation of other leaders of the opposition to the Conga project.
- Adopt a mandate of community consent prior to all extractive industry projects, as the lack of consent is the largest driver of social conflicts in Peru.