Indigenous women at San Juan de Canaris, protesting the invasive mining

Authorities have rejected attempts to mount a referendum on the Conga gold and copper mine in Cajamarca, northern Peru.

Locals in Cajamarca, northern Peru, are concerned about the mine’s potential impacts on water sources. Opposition led to the mine’s suspension but in January developer Newmont Mining announced in January that it would spend US$150 million on the Conga project this year. Community groups plan to hold a popular vote in July and have called on the office of the human rights ombudsperson, the Defensoría del Pueblo, to oversee it.

However in a statement, the Defensor Eduardo Vega Luna said that such a role would fall outside his institution’s mandate and would fail to promote dialogue. He also noted that a consultation on Conga had already taken place, although said that the Defensoría “has pointed out that mechanisms for participation in mining projects must be substantially improved.” The public prosecutor also said that a regionally organised referendum would be illegal, as consultation on large-scale projects falls within the remit of the mining ministry.

Delegations from Cajamarca and Cañaris, the scene of recent violent clashes over the planned Cañariaco mine, travelled to Lima on 13 February to ask President Humala and his cabinet to cancel the projects. Cristobal Barrios, president of the San Juan de Cañaris community, demanded the government respect last September’s community vote in which 97 per cent rejected the Cañariaco project. Conga’s opponents hope to gain a similar popular mandate through their planned referendum.

Northern Peru: Police hold off indigenous women at San Juan de Canaris, protesting the invasive mining by Canadian company, Candente Copper. 

The Cañariaco Norte mine is in the early stages of development by Candente. The Defensor has stated that the new prior consultation law must be enforced for this mine. In a letter to the government, Vega has asked that an investigation be made into whether Candente is properly complying with the law.

Further south, discussion continues on the contributions Xstrata’s Espinar Tintaya-Antapaccay mine should make to the local community.

El Frente de Mujeres Defensoras de la Pachamama - Women Defenders of Mother Earth

A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Then it is done. No matter how brave its warriors or how strong its weapons.

Responses to "Defenders of Mother Earth: Indigenous Women Rise Up Against The Mines"

  1. Mining ministry decides when they are the liable ones to be funded by those with vested interests? Business overpowers he majority for the sake of greed. Roll over the people that elect roll over the land and destroy it f em all until the world is a husk then the corporations can find a way to deal in dead bodies and ruined lands

  2. Anonymous says:

    What would you say! Don't those men look brave....... not. As women all over world lets take a stand with these women. It is to save the next generation.

  3. Unknown says:

    I think the United Nations should step in and just say No Mining in any country until we hear from the people at the grass roots. I'm in Australia and unless weére constantly jumping up and down they're doing the same to us. Globally we need to STOP.

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Best Regards, I know a new special woman warrior, she defenses enormous Ecological Reserve Chaparrí-Lambayeque Perú, the most important Reserve around of Perú, she risks her life against corrupt cops, mobsters congressmen, bought authorities, all for defending the environmental and archaeological heritage. I can find enclosed information, Etelvina life, our new warrior woman is in danger. We need help. We need to tell the world that Etelvina is not alone. Just give me an email where you can send the information. It is urgent. #Etelvinaisn´talone #SaveChaparrí

  6. Unknown says:

    Peaceful protest for social change is appropriate. Human behavior and social norms is one thing. Active, careless destruction of the Earth is something different. It's literally a life and death struggle, and should be treated as such, but we pretend it's just another civil matter. It is not.

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