MICLA

McGill Research Group Investigating
Canadian Mining in Latin America

Santa Ana

Key Data

Company:Bear Creek Mining Corporation Operational status:Suspended 2012 Materials extracted:silver Type of mine:open pit Main issues:water, land rights, community relations

Description

The Santa Ana mining conflict began in May 2011 when Aymara peasants mobilised in the Puno region of Peru against the Santa Ana project due to concerns over water scarcity and loss of communal lands due to mining in the region. As Carlos Zecenarro, writing for Oxfam’s Latin America Bureau notes, Puno occupies the second region in the country in regards to the most hectares granted as concessions to mining companies as well as being one of the poorest.[1] The key concerns include the lack of appropriate consultation of the communities themselves and the threat to key local water sources, most notably the Desaguadero River and Lake Titicaca.[2] As the anti-mining protest leader, Walter Aduviri told the Peruvian newspaper, La Republica “We do not ask for money, only respect for our right to property and territory in accordance with the ILO convention 169 on the rights of indigenous peoples.”[3] The protests against the mine took the form of road blocks and demonstrations, which culminated on 24th of June 2011 with the occupation of Juliaca airport in conjunction with protests against a proposed hydro-electric project.[4] During the course of the protests the security forces exercised brutal violence including firing on the protesters and killing five.[5] In response to the violent protests, on June 25th the Peruvian government revoked the Bear Creek concession (citing a law preventing foreign ownership of land within 50 kilometers of a national border) as well as suspending all other exploration claims in the Puno region for a period of 36 months.[6] Bear Creek Mining Corporation has sued the Peruvian government for breach of contract and according to its website “The Company intends to immediately and vigorously defend its rights at Santa Ana through all available avenues”[7]

Additional Info

During the course of the protests the Peruvian anti-mining activist were helped by Aymara campesino groups in neighbouring Bolivia, acting in solidarity by enforcing a roadblock on their side of the border.[9]

Multimedia

Al-Jazeera report on protests against foreign mining in Puno. [10]

http://www.telesurtv.net/secciones/noticias/93015-NN/campesinos/intensifican_bloqueo_en_frontera_entre_bolivia_y_perú/[11]  [12] [13]

[14]

 


[1]Zecerrano, Carlos. Social conflicts in Puno: The twilight of the mining in Peru? Latin American Bureau-Oxfam. July 18th, 2011. January 17th, 2012. http://www.lab.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1017&catid=1:blogs&Itemid=101

[2] Campesinos peruanos en pie de guerra contra una mina de plata. No a la Mina. May 18th, 2011. January 17th, 2012. http://www.noalamina.org/mineria-latinoamerica/mineria-bolivia/campesinos-peruanos-en-pie-de-guerra-contra-una-mina-de-plata

[3] Walter Aduviri: Gobierno busca otro Baguazo en Puno. La Republica. June 16th 2011. January 17th, 2012. http://www.larepublica.pe/16-06-2011/walter-aduviri-gobierno-busca-otro-baguazo-en-puno-Author’s translation.

[4] Dangl, Benjamin. Showdown in Peru: Indigenous communities kick out Canadian mining company. The Dominion. 12th of September, 2011. January 17th, 2012. http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/4161

[5] Peru halts mine project after protesters shot. Al-Jazeera English. 25th of June, 2011. January 17th, 2012. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2011/06/201162535356326164.html

[6] Zecerrano, Carlos. Social conflicts in Puno: The twilight of the mining in Peru? Latin American Bureau-Oxfam. July 18th, 2011. January 17th, 2012. http://www.lab.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1017&catid=1:blogs&Itemid=101

[7] Corporate Update-Saturday, June 25th, 2011. Bear Creek Mining Corporation. 25th of June, 2011. January 17th, 2012. http://www.bearcreekmining.com/s/NewsReleases.asp?ReportID=464133

[8] Santa Ana-Project Status. Bear Creek Mining Corporation. January 17th, 2012. http://www.bearcreekmining.com/s/SantaAna_Project.asp?ReportID=374323

[9] Campesinos peruanos en pie de guerra contra una mina de plata. No a la Mina. May 18th, 2011. January 17th, 2012. http://www.noalamina.org/mineria-latinoamerica/mineria-bolivia/campesinos-peruanos-en-pie-de-guerra-contra-una-mina-de-plata

[10] Peru: Aymaras protest transnational mining company. Al-Jazeera English. May 27th, 2011. January 17th, 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BmMQ_0hWEQs&feature=player_embedded

[11] Campesinos intensifican bloqueo en frontera entre Bolivia y Perú. Telesur. May 18th, 2011. January 17th, 2012. http://www.telesurtv.net/secciones/noticias/93015-NN/campesinos/intensifican_bloqueo_en_frontera_entre_bolivia_y_perú/

[12] Anti-mining protesters seize airport in Peru. Al-Jazeera English. June 25th, 2011. January 17th, 2012. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2011/06/201162519739671996

[13] Triunfo de los vecinos: suspenden concesiones mineras. No a la Mina. June 29th, 2011. January 17th, 2012. http://www.noalamina.org/mineria-latinoamerica/mineria-peru/triunfo-de-los-vecinos-suspenden-concesiones-mineras

14 Zecerrano, Carlos. Social conflicts in Puno: The twilight of the mining in Peru? Latin American Bureau-Oxfam. July 18th, 2011. January 17th, 2012. http://www.lab.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1017&catid=1:blogs&Itemid=101

 

Bibliography