The Chaupes, again

10 October 2016

No sooner than Newmont Mining put out a statement commenting on the so-called ‘independent’ study on the property in dispute between the Chaupe family and Yanacocha, new reports emerged about harassment of the Chaupes.

In its pronouncement on 28 September, Newmont, the main shareholder in Yanacocha, says “we intend to use their report to evaluate and improve our practices and, if possible, as a foundation for achieving a responsible solution that is consistent with our values, standards and international commitments”.

The document sets out a number of steps to resolve the dispute, promising that “over the next few weeks we will work in good faith to socialize (...) our action plan with stakeholders so we can chart a constructive path forward”. It quotes Elaine Dorwood-King, Newmont’s vice-president for sustainability and external relations, as saying “we would like to thank members of the Chaupe family, their supporters and all of the other individuals who participated in the interviews and cooperated with the independent mission”.

But before the ink was dry on Newmont’s statement than new aggressions on the Chaupe’s property were being reported. On 4 October, Grufides, the NGO which has campaigned against the development of Yanacocha’s giant Conga mining project in Cajamarca, reported that those working for Yanacocha had again invaded the property, known as Tragadero Grande, destroying a building and crops recently sown by the Chaupe family. It reported that they threatened Jaime Chaupe, the husband of Máxima Acuña, who was alone in the property at the time. Grufides called on the international community to put an end to the abuses suffered by the Chaupe family and others like it.


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