Abolition of dialogue table at Las Bambas causes concern
17 December 2018
The giant Chinese-owned Las Bambas project has triggered multiple conflicts over the years. We have described many times the difficulties faced by the dialogue table (mesa de diálogo), suspended two years ago. The 'tidying up' legislation just approved (Decreto Supremo N 120 – 2018 – PCM) includes the suspended table in the 55 items which it abolishes as non-functional, the list including commissions, committees, working groups, dialogue tables and the like.
This has caused major disquiet among social organisations in the vicinity of the mine. They want to see the table re-opened, not abolished. It is seen as a precious window of opportunity to raise issues over rights, and in particular the repeated prolonging of the state of emergency all along the corridor between the mine and the port at Mollendo, along with the company's agreements with the police for security. In addition, there is the continuing issue of the road and the pollution it causes and the impact of the mine on water to the valley.
On the positive side, the new decree creates 'comités de seguimiento de acuerdos'. This is to be welcomed, since monitoring and follow-up on agreements is crucial. But what if there are no satisfactorily negotiated agreements to follow up?