Washington, D.C., Sep 28 -- A year-long investigation commissioned and funded by the world’s second largest gold producer, Newmont Mining, today reports that its Peruvian subsidiary ignored human rights standards, “prioritized eviction and litigation over dialogue,” and violated its own standards in its land dispute with Peruvian subsistence farmers.
This week we’re celebrating two momentous wins for environmental justice and human rights in Peru.
First, we’re toasting the victory of Máxima Acuña de Chaupe, a subsistence farmer from the Andean highlands of northern Peru, who has been awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for her brave stand against Newmont, the mining company that has tried to evict her from her land to build the giant Conga gold and copper mine.
Cajamarca, Peru & San Francisco, CA -- Peruvian farmer Máxima Acuña de Chaupe today won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for her ongoing fight to protect her home and community from the Conga mine. The announcement came as Newmont (NYSE: NEM) removed its proposed Conga gold mine in northern Peru from its list of reserves in its annual filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
“We are happy that Newmont has finally faced facts and abandoned Conga,” said 2016 Goldman Prize winner Máxima Acuña de Chaupe, who has been embroiled in a struggle with the multinational mining company for control of her land. She continued, “The fact is our way of life, and the clean water we need to sustain it, is more important to us than Newmont’s new gold mine ever could be. We know from Newmont’s Yanacocha mine that, no matter their promises, we can’t have both the mine and our way of life.”
Happy Mother’s Day!
Large scale, industrial mining disproportionately impacts women.
So they’re often on the frontlines, fighting dirty mining projects and demanding responsible behavior from mining companies. Perhaps because they’re fighting for their children’s future, these women are often moms.
Mirtha Vasquez, an attorney based in Cajamarca, Peru, has two young kids and a full caseload protecting communities from irresponsible mining activity in the mineral-rich Andean region. Yet she made the long trip to Wilmington, DE to join Earthrights International and Earthworks to attend Newmont’s Mining Company’s annual shareholders’ meeting. Together, we called on CEO Gary Goldberg to address the armed repression of protesters, untreated pollution, threats to water availability and other issues of concern to communities in the area.
Just over a week ago, on February 3rd, police and security officers backed by Newmont invaded the Máxima Acuña Chaupe's home to prevent her from making repairs to her house. Officers even destroyed parts of her home. This was the third such invasion of her land in 2015 itself. We ask you to take action against Newmont and for sanctioning this violence.
After being beaten, robbed and sentenced to prison for fighting to protect her property, Maxima finally got justice against mining behemoth Newmont two months ago. But despite the victory, police harassment, backed by the mining company, has not stopped.