Newmont under fire, again

22 March 2015

An American judge, Robert E Blackburn, has taken the unusual step of ordering Newmont, the giant US mining company, to supply photographs, videos and other information on communications between the company and the police in Cajamarca. Newmont is the majority shareholder in Yanacocha, the controversial gold mining company in Cajamarca that had sought to open up the massive new Conga gold project in the province of Celendín in Cajamarca.

The project has been the focus of bitter protest in Cajamarca. In 2011, 25 protesters were wounded in a confrontation with the local police. Among them was Elmer Campos Alvarez, who was rendered paraplegic by two projectiles were fired at him by police.

Last year, EarthRights International, an environmental pressure group, appealed to the Colorado Federal Court to intervene in the case. The plaintiffs allege that Yanacocha hired the police to disperse the protesters. Newmont will now have to hand over the material it possesses. The case was brought under the Foreign Legal Assistance statute.

Last July, with the help of EarthRights International, a group of prominent non-governmental rights organisations filed an ‘amicus curiae’ (friend of the court) suit in Peru’s Constitutional Court in support of a legal challenge brought by Grufides, a Cajamarca-based NGO, against the Conga project. The case argues that Conga represents a violation of people’s constitutional right to enjoy a healthy environment.

All news

  • 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