Declaration of state of emergency causes alarm

13 January 2018

The 11 January issue of El Peruano, the official gazette, contained the alarming news that a state of emergency had been declared for the 500km mining corridor that runs through Apurímac, Cuzco and Arequipa regions and contains key mining concerns. These include Las Bambas (owned by the Chinese company MMG), Constancia (owned by Hudbay) and Antapaccay-Tintaya (owned by Glencore). No particular instance was cited for precipitating the declaration.

While there have undoubtedly been cases of protest and violence over the past several years in this whole area and states of emergency imposed in certain districts since August, there has been nothing in the last few months to come near to justifying this sort of action. El Peruano said the state of emergency was triggered by police reports.

A state of emergency restricts the fundamental human rights of the population and authorises the police, with the support of the armed forces, to maintain order. It is clearly intended under Peruvian law as an exceptional measure. According to José de Echave, former vice minister of the environment and spokesperson for the Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros, "that which should be an exceptional state is becoming a customary thing" cutting into people's fundamental rights.

With 2018 being declared the ‘year of dialogue and national reconciliation’ gets under way, upping the ante in this way across much of southern Peru seems singularly inappropriate.

All articles

  • PSG Aims

    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

  • Historical Overview

    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

  • Human Rights

    Human rights violations were widespread during the twenty years after the initiation of armed conflict in 1980. Efforts to convict perpetrators since the war's end have made only limited progress. Today, concerns remain over the treatment of those engaged in social protest, particularly against strategically important investment projects.

  • Why join the PSG?

    • Keep up to date with latest news and developments in Peru
    • Learn about key issues of poverty, development and human rights in Peru
    • Support the work of the Peru Support Group

    Become a member