October 29, 2020

The Government of Peru declares a state of emergency in the area of ​​a mining conflict

The Government of Peru declares a state of emergency in the area of ​​a mining conflict



The Government of Peru declared a state of emergency (exception) in the Andean Chalhuahuacho district in the southern region of Apurímac, whose settlers have been in conflict for almost two months with the Las Bambas copper mine, operated by the Australian consortium. Chinese MMG.

The measure, formalized in a decree published in an extraordinary bulletin of legal norms, will have a validity of 15 days and suspends the constitutional rights relative to the inviolability of domicile and freedom of assembly in the area.

It also extended for the same period the state of emergency from kilometer 130 to kilometer 160 of the road corridor of the national route, which includes the district of Colquemarca, in the province of Chumbivilcas, in the Cusco region.

The decree states that it will control up to 500 meters on each side of the road corridor and that the surveillance of the internal order of the area in emergency will be in charge of the National Police, with the support of the Armed Forces, which will intervene in accordance with the provisions of decrees that regulate the use of force in the national territory.

The legal provision was signed by President Martín Vizcarra, Prime Minister Salvador del Solar and the Ministers of the Interior and Justice and Human Rights, Carlos Moran and Vicente Zeballos, respectively.

Despite the measure, local media reported that a group of community members blocked access to Chalhuahuacho on Friday and demanded the presence in the area of ​​President Vizcarra and the general manager of Las Bambas, as well as the release of leader Gregorio Rojas and the readjusting the amount of the mining canon.

The leaders of Chalhuahuacho and the community of Fuerabamba, where a road passes that is used by the trucks that transport the ore, did not participate this Thursday in a meeting with a commission made up of three ministers, which was held in the district of Santo Tomás, in the province of Chumbivilcas.

The members of the Executive talked with local authorities and representatives of other communities that also demand a payment for the right to use the road that crosses their territories and agreed that the next appointment will be made on April 9 in Lima.

The meeting took place one day after unknown people threw stones at the military helicopter that transported the delegation of ministers to the area of ​​Yavi Yavi, in the Apurímac region, where they sought to establish a dialogue with the community members.

The villagers demand from the past 4 February that the mine pays for the right of use of the road, which the authorities affirm that it existed before the mining project, and complain that it was declared, without consulting them, as a national route by the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC).

Las Bambas is located over 4,000 meters above sea level in the province of Cotabambas and has reserves of 7.2 million tons of copper and 12.6 million tons of mineral resources.

Tension rose in that rural area since last Friday, after the arrests of the leaders and legal advisors of the community members, the latter accused by the Prosecutor's Office of alleged extortion against the company.

In the middle of the conflict, the Chalhuahuacho communities began a strike in solidarity with Fuerabamba on Wednesday, which included a protest march of hundreds of peasants and workers to the doors of the mine.

Prime Minister Del Solar said this week that the government seeks "not only to resume the dialogue, but to take it to a truly important conversation about what is the development" that is wanted for the entire area of ​​influence of the mining company.

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