29 April saw the reinitiation of the Dialogue Table between the communities of Espinar affected by the Antapaccay expansion of the Glencore-owned mining project Tintaya-Antapaccay. The regional Governor, the congressman Armando Villanueva and all the district mayors took part.
The day’s work produced – inevitably – mostly agendas for further work, but at least it was possible to reach a number of agreements to continue talking. Among the agreements reached were:
- the Minister of the Environment committed to securing a resolution through the Council of Ministers for the formal creation of the dialogue table;
- the first meeting of the subsection on the development of the province of Espinar would take place on 16 May;
- the Ministry of Housing, Construction and Sanitation committed to a working group to make progress on the document already submitted by the municipality;
- the construction of the hospital in Espinar would be put out to tender and would go ahead by September;
• there would be training provided for health officials;
- in two weeks’ time future meetings of the subsection of Health, Environment, and Sanitation would be programmed;
- meetings are ‘promised’ between all concerned in the revision of the Framework Agreement which governs the relationship between the company and the communities;
- On 15 May the MINEM would meet with the communities involved to design a programme of work for a process of prior consultation.
The last point followed on from a meeting on 22 April in which the communities within the area of influence of the project Antapaccay in Espinar met the Minister of Mines and Energy, Francisco Ismodes, in the offices of the regional government of Cusco, and agreed that the following week the MINEM would ‘inform’ them about the implementation of a process of prior consultation, with regard to the Estudio de Impacto Ambiental of the Antapaccay Expansion.
The communities meanwhile issued a strongly worded press statement, to the effect that they did not see the consulta previa as a ‘negotiation’ because their rights are simply not up for negotiation but grounded in international law.