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17 Jul 2018

Derechos Humanos y Medio Ambiente Puno (DHUMA)

International public sign-on letter: Stop the criminalisation of social protest and corporate impunity in Peru!!

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The undersigned, national and international civil society organisations, address you in solidarity with the Aymara communities of Southern Peru, who have organised to defend their natural wealth, their territory, their water and the health of their people against the various mining projects established in the region...

We refer here specifically to the charges related to the socio-environmental conflict known as the ‘Aymarazo’ of 2011...The protest resulted in a fierce repression at the hands of the Peruvian State and, ultimately, in the cancelation of the project.  However, the Prosecution of Puno initiated criminal processes against the main spokespersons, which resulted in Walter Aduviri – the main spokesperson – being charged with 7 years in prison...Aduviri’s case is currently being considered by the Supreme Court of Justice of Peru...We consider that, if the Supreme Court ratify the sentence against Aduviri, a dangerous judicial precedent will be set that would undermine the defense of human rights and of territory in Peru...

We demand that the transnational Bear Creek Mining Corporation and the mining corporations that are mainly concentrated in the South of Peru respect the rights and decisions of communities in relation to the Santa Ana project...These multinational corporations also turn to international tribunals to sue countries for compensation when they feel that their profits have been put at risk in any way.  In 2014, Following on from the Aymarazo, Bear Creek Mining Corporation sued Peru in the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) of the World Bank.  The World Bank ruled in Bear Creek’s favour, ordering Peru to pay the transnational the sum of US$18.2 million. This amount, added to the interests and legal costs incurred by the Peruvian State, have totalled a skyrocketing US$37 million...