Peru: Updates on MMG Las Bambas (Oct 2018-Feb 2019)
Author: OCMAL, Published on: 22 January 2019
Since 2010, the southern mining corridor has been the scene of social conflicts that led to protests, roadblocks, among others, due to the farmers’ opposition to MMG Limited, the mining company, extracting mainly copper. These protests were considered by the Executive as an active conflict in escalation. Therefore, the current Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra decided in September 2018 to declare the zone under state of emergency for 30 days. Since November 2018, the demonstrations and clashes between MMG Las Bambas and the communities of Apurimac escalated, mainly due to the construction of a highway that crosses the Yavi Yavi Fundo territories, the contamination produced by the use of explosives and dust during the transportation of the mining products and irregularities concerning permits about the ownership of these territories. In December 2018, when for a short period the state of emergency was lifted, the government decided to close the dialogue tables between the communities and the company, despite the fact that many of the issues, especially the environmental ones, had not concluded. At the beginning of 2019, the confrontations reached protagonism on the roads where the mine drives its vehicles, causing the police to react violently and abusively against the protesting communities. By the end of January, MMG and the communities resumed dialogue peacefully with the government entities in charge, expecting the petitions of the affected people and the mining company to be resolved.