New threats against Peruvian land defender Máxima Acuña de Chaupe

We have been informed by the Chaupe family that on the morning of July 9th, unknown people illegally entered the Chaupe family’s property in Tragadero Grande, Cajamarca, Peru. The individuals took notes and left, refusing to identify themselves to the family. Later that night, under the cover of complete darkness, individuals again entered the family’s property and again refused to identify themselves, as documented by cell phone footage recorded by a member of the family.

We cannot confirm the identity of the individuals. But unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. For the past several years, the Chaupe family has faced ongoing surveillance, intimidation, and harassment by contractors and security personnel associated with Newmont-owned Yanacocha mining.

Since Máxima refused to sell her land to make way for the proposed Conga gold mine in 2011, her family has denounced numerous incidents in which police and mine security officers, including those employed by Newmont-owned Yanacocha Mining, have invaded their land, destroying crops and parts of the family’s home. Over the years Máxima has been beaten and harassed many times by police officers and private security forces backed by Newmont.

Despite Newmont’s assurances that the controversial Conga project is still on hold, Máxima and her family are still at risk. These new acts of intimidation and harassment are heightened by the family’s isolation; their only neighbors in Tragadero Grande are employees of the mining company.  

We stand in solidarity with the family and GRUFIDES, and join their call to demand the following Peruvian institutions protect the Chaupes from harassment and threats:

  • Ministry of the Interior – implement the precautionary measures ordered by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 2014
  • Public Prosecutor’s Office – investigate these types of ongoing attacks and threats
  • National Police – fulfill its responsibility to protect the life and integrity of the family

Stay tuned for more opportunities to stand with the Chaupes as they demand Peruvian authorities do their job. In the meantime, you can take action to urge Newmont to end harassment of farmers who oppose their mine!

For More Information:

Earthworks: Peruvian farmers fight to protect land from Newmont Mining comes to US

EarthworksNewmont Mining Opposes Human Rights Shareholder Proposal

Earthworks: Conga No Va! Newmont mothballs Conga mine as Máxima wins Goldman Prize