Growing protest looms over Southern's push on Tia Maria
17 February 2018
Southern Copper is pushing hard to obtain its social licence and with it the permission to go ahead this year with the giant Tía María copper project. At the same time and by the same token, the pressure builds from Tambo valley farmers who see their livelihoods endangered by the project’s impact on local water supplies.
The company considers that it has done much to reach out to the local community and says it has created many friends. The Ministry of Energy and Mines supports it. However, the local press is reporting that people are offended when it is thought that “two tins of paint or a bag of urea” will buy them off. So says Augusto Paredes Torres, secretary of the Junta de Usuarios of the Tambo Valley. Local journalists report that the majority of the population in the valley have never heard of the programme 'Valle Unido' and they remain solidly opposed to the project.
Meanwhile the legal case brought against community leaders over their role in orchestrating protest three years ago is doing nothing to improve the atmosphere.