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Threat to Water from Mining in Peru Mobilizes Masses February 5th, 2012
Thousands of Peruvians from the Amazon to Lima have mobilized against a serious threat to the water in the Cajamarca region of Peru. Residents there, mostly indigenous peoples, are deeply concerned about the threat to their water from a proposed mining development by the American company, Newmont Mining. Oblates in the US have engaged Newmont about the impact of their operations on communities where they have mining operations. The Yanacocha mine has been a priority in those conversations though the recent turmoil in the Cajamarca region is related to the proposed development of Minas Congas and extension of the Yanacocha project. The Oblates in Peru are supporting the March for Water that has been organized by civil society in the impacted areas.
The movement claims “the right to be consulted, to be respected and heard in decisions about its development model, for socially-just participation in economic growth, the prohibition of mining in the headwaters of rivers, and a stop to mining with cyanide and mercury that is causing so much damage to land and water.” The marchers are proclaiming their human right to water, and drawing support from churches and civil society alike in a several day march from Cajamarca to Lima. The Great National Water mobilization began on February 1st and will conclude with a convocation in Lima on February 9-10.
Read a full description of the mobilization (in English translation):
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Recrearte 2012: A Significant Experience in the Peruvian Jungle February 3rd, 2012
Oblates in Peru are working with children of the indigenous kichwa in the Amazon, whose communities are threatened by intensifying economic activity: oil exploration, increased illegal logging, pollution related to informal gold mining, commercial fishing operations, and the social ills that follow, including an increase in drug dealing. There is an increasing lack of teachers at all levels. Read the encouraging story of their recent RECREARTE Project.
Unprecedented Governance Agreement Signed in Peruvian Amazon August 17th, 2010
The Oblate parish in Santa Clotilde, in the Peruvian Amazon, organized a gathering of political authorities and leaders from nearly 50 communities – religious, health, education, indigenous – for a three day workshop on the upcoming elections. At the end of the meeting, a “governance” agreement was signed by all, including the candidates for the upcoming elections. In this statement, it was agreed, amongst other things, that all civil society and indigenous groups would monitor the work of whoever is ultimately elected. The agreement is the first of its kind in Peru!
URGENT ACTION NEEDED!
Police Massacre of Indigenous Protesters in the Peruvian Amazon is linked to the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement
Over the past weekend, confrontations in the Peruvian Amazon between nonviolent indigenous protesters and police have left more than 60 people dead. As many as 30,000 Indigenous people have been protesting for nearly two months, a series of Presidential Decrees issued last year under the US-Peru FTA implementation law. Several of these decrees directly threaten Indigenous territories and rights.
Last April, 41 Oblate parish priests from the region issued a statement titled, “Protecting and Respecting the Amazon, we protect the indigenous”. The priests spoke directly of “the increase of social injustice and ecological destruction which threatens the very existence of indigenous and peasant communities that are being despoiled of their lands.”
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