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“More than one hundred organizations reject the unjust payment of USD $31 million to Canadian mining company Bear Creek”

September 13, 2018

In recent weeks, international organizations from five continents have endorsed a public sign-on letter entitled: Stop the Criminalization of Social Protest and Corporate Impunity in Peru!! The initiative was promoted by local organization Human Rights and Environment – DHUMA of Puno (a member of the Peruvian National Coordinator of Human Rights – CNDDHH and of the MUQUI Network), in alliance with international organizations such as the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) of Washington D.C. , The Democracy Center in Bolivia and MiningWatch Canada...The Sign-On Letter, supported in total by 131 Peruvian and international civil society organizations, urges the Supreme Court to annul the sentence against Walter Aduviri.  Aduviri was sentenced to 7 years in prison and ordered to pay more than USD$600,000 in damages, for alleged crimes committed during the socio-environmental conflict known as the “Aymarazo” in 2011.

On September 17th, 2018, the Peruvian Supreme Court will hear Aduviri’s appeal in Lima. According to the Sign-On Letter, if the Supreme Court does not annul the sentence, they will be setting harsh precedents for the defense of territory and human rights in Peru. It goes on: “We are disturbed to note a growing tendency towards deepening criminalisation. The abusive imposition of penal processes against social organisation leaders and communities via a distorted use of criminal offenses (such as aggravated extortion and Indirect Perpetration) is particularly worrying. Such wilful misinterpretation of the law seeks to equate social organisations with criminal groups and their spokespeople with instigators of crime. As such it represents a grave attack on human rights; on freedom of expression; and on social mobilisation”.