Las Bambas communities enunciate demands
22 January 2018
Following hard on the heels of the general declaration of a state of emergency throughout the mining corridor on 11 January a delegation from the district of Challhuahuacho, in Cotabambas (Apurímac), arrived in Lima. The huge MMG copper mine Las Bambas is located in this district.
The delegation brought with them three requests:
The restoration of the dialogue table (mesa de diálogo), suspended in 2016.
Rejection of the company's proposal to modify for the fourth time the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) through what is known as an 'Informe Técnico Sustentatorio' ( ITS). The use of ITSs to modify EIAs was introduced in 2013, involving a simplified process but subject to various criteria. ITSs have repeatedly been used without any previous consultation with the affected communities. The company’s modification of the EIA without consultation was the precipitating cause of conflict at Las Bambas in 2016.
The lifting of the state of emergency. This dates from last August and has been repeatedly extended. The president of the Frente de Defensa of Challhuahuacho argued in a press conference in Congress that the state of emergency contributed nothing to social peace or to the resolution of conflicts. Rather “it generates lack of confidence, especially given that the government is still not implementing the Development Plan for the region” promised in 2016.
The office of the Council of Ministers has put out a statement saying it has proposed that dialogue should resume on 22 January. The previous delegation from Cotabambas, back at the end of October, met a rebuff on the request for a new dialogue table as 'unnecessary'.