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Peruvian farmer sues Newmont over alleged threats and violence to evict her from land

Máxima Acuña-credit-Earthworks

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8 May 2018

US court rules Peruvian farmers' lawsuit against Newmont over co's alleged attempts to forcibly evict plaintiffs from their land should be heard in Peru

Author: EarthRights International

"Peruvian Farmers Appeal in Fight to Hold Newmont Accountable in U.S. Court", 4 May 2018

...[A] federal court in Delaware decided that Maxima Acuña Atalaya and her family’s case against Newmont Mining Corporation, should be heard in Peru – not Delaware, where the company incorporated almost 100 years ago.  The court made this decision despite voicing concerns about evidence presented by the family showing the company’s significant and improper influence over Peruvian courts, and despite recognizing that the conduct of U.S. companies overseas raises substantial moral issues.  But the Chaupes remain undeterred.  Together with EarthRights International, they intend to appeal the district court’s decision...The Chaupes have indicated that they will exhaust all legal avenues that they believe are necessary to ensure that Newmont respects the human rights of those living in the Cajamarca region.  Since 2011, Newmont Mining Corporation, a U.S. company and one of the world’s largest gold producers, has led a campaign of harassment and abuse against the Chaupe family intended to force them off their land and to pave the way for a new open pit gold mine in Peru...After the Peruvian authorities failed to protect the Chaupes from physical and psychological abuse at the hands of Newmont’s security personnel, the Chaupes filed a lawsuit against Newmont in U.S. federal court in Delaware in September 2017.  The Chaupes sought an injunction asking Newmont to refrain from the abuse and reparations for the years of abuse they have endured...

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26 October 2017

Reparation for corporate human rights abuses is a right that should not be challenged, says EarthRights Intl.

Author: Juliana Bravo Valencia & Maryum Jordan, EarthRights International

"Reparation for Human Rights Violations is a Right That Should Not be Challenged", 24 Oct 2017

Earlier this month EarthRights International (ERI) and a pro bono attorney…Misty Seemans, filed a lawsuit in the United States against Newmont…on behalf of Máxima Acuña Atalaya and her family, who claim that they have suffered physical and psychological attacks by the company for over six years…

The lawsuit has two main objectives: first, to stop the harassment and aggression against the Chaupe family in order to avoid future human rights violations and, second, to obtain reparations for the physical and psychological suffering they have suffered for years, as well as for the damage to their crops and animals. Both of these are under the framework of the right to justice and under the premise that companies must respect human rights, and that governments must control and regulate the companies’ actions to protect and guarantee the life and integrity of all people…

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19 September 2017

Peru farmer sues miner Newmont in U.S. court over alleged abuse

Author: Mitra taj, Reuters

A farmer in Peru is suing Newmont Mining Corp in U.S. federal court, claiming the miner used violence and threats to try to evict her from her home to make way for a gold project...

The lawsuit charges the company on counts including battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and seeks damages of at least $75,000 for each affected member of Acuna's family.

Newmont spokesman...said...hat the company had not yet been officially served notice from either EarthRights International or the court. He said the family has recently "been engaged in direct, good-faithdialogue" with the company.

"We encourage them to remain engaged in this process,"...

Newmonth's Peruvian unit has previously accused Acuna and her family of illegally occupying land that it said it had lawfully purchased in the 1990s in a highland region where it once hoped to build a $4.8 billion gold mine.

Newmont put the gold project, Conga, on hold in 2011 amid violent protests by local farmers worried about its impacts on water supplies.

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19 September 2017

Peruvian farmer sues Newmont in US court over alleged use of violence, threats

Author: Cecilia Jamasmie, Mining.com

Peruvian farmer Máxima Acuña de Chaupe, a vocal opponent to Newmont Mining’s activity in her home country, is now suing the company in a US federal court over allegations it used violence and threats to try evicting her from her home to make way for its Conga gold and copper project.

The suit filed on Sept. 15 by Acuña and her family in Delaware, where Newmont is incorporated, seeks to stop “a pattern of harassment and physical and psychological abuse” they have allegedly suffered at the hands of security personnel working on behalf of Newmont and its affiliates…

In May this year, Peru’s Supreme Court ruled in her favour in a case in which Newmont had alleged she had illegally occupied the company’s property. However, two civil cases to determine ownership of the land are still winding through the courts…

"We continue to be respectful of the Chaupes while lawfully protecting our property rights, avoiding confrontation and respecting human rights," the company said in an email statement…

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19 September 2017

Peruvian Subsistence Farmers Take U.S. Gold Mining Giant to Court

Author: EarthRights International

EarthRights International (ERI), together with Máxima Acuña Atalaya de Chaupe and her family, have filed a lawsuit in Delaware federal court against Newmont Mining Corporation and three of its corporate affiliates. The lawsuit seeks to stop a pattern of harassment and physical and psychological abuse that the Chaupe family has suffered at the hands of security personnel working on behalf of Newmont and its corporate affiliates...

The Chaupes are subsistence farmers who reside in the rural highlands of Cajamarca, Peru. They have cultivated crops and raised livestock on a plot of land known as Tragadero Grande for over twenty years. According to the complaint, this all changed in 2011 when agents of Newmont Mining Corporation attempted to forcibly oust Plaintiffs from their farm so that Newmont could expand their gold mining operations. Since then, Newmont's agents have used harassment and violence to try to evict Plaintiffs from their farm...

In 2011, Newmont's Board of Directors approved full funding for Conga, a controversial US$4.8 billion mining project, which engendered strong local opposition – including from the Cajamarca Regional Government – due to concerns about the mine's impacts on local water supplies. For years, the surrounding communities have organized and held nonviolent protests against Conga.

The protests have been met with violent repression by the Peruvian National Police (PNP), under contract to Newmont's local affiliate...

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15 September 2017

Acuna v. Newmont Complaint

Author: Misty Seemans, DE Bar & Marco Simons, EarthRhgts International (Counsel for the plaintiffs)

[Full text of the complaint]

Download the full document here

19 March 2015

US federal court orders Newmont Mining to provide evidence relating to Peruvian lawsuits over police repression at Newmont’s Conga mine

Author: EarthRights International

"Federal Court Orders Newmont Mining to Turn Over Evidence to Peruvian Wounded in Protest"

On Monday, a federal court ordered Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corporation to turn over evidence relating to police repression of protestors against Newmont’s proposed Conga mine in northern Peru. EarthRights International (ERI) filed the request in 2014 on behalf of Elmer Eduardo Campos Álvarez, a 33-year-old Peruvian farmer. Mr. Campos was paralyzed from the waist down in 2011 when he was shot in the back while peacefully protesting near the mine… Judge Robert E. Blackburn issued Monday’s order under the Foreign Legal Assistance (FLA) Statute, which allows people to request evidence found in the United States that can assist a legal case in another country.

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