On 10 February, the OMCT (World Organisation against Torture), a coalition of NGOs, issued an urgent action on behalf of Máxima Acuña Chaupe, alleging that she again has suffered acts of intimidation and threats against her and her family. She has become a symbol of resistance to the Yanacocha Mining Company’s Conga Project.
According to the OMCT, on 2 February at 9:30am, members of the security company working at the mining site trespassed on to the land owned by the family, destroying their potato crop. Two days before, the family dog had been injured. The OMCT stresses that these are not isolated cases. Maxima and her family have been targeted on numerous occasions in the past. They have received death threats, parts of their property have been destroyed and they have been subject to surveillance.
Family members had been convicted of land usurpation in the course of the struggle against Conga. In December 2014, the Supreme Court of Cajamarca overturned the sentence passed on the family by a lower court and declared that it was not occupying the land illegally. The mining company appealed this verdict in a civil court, and the ruling is still pending.
The OMCT urges the Peruvian authorities to guarantee the safety and physical integrity of Máxima Acuña and her family, and for immediate, impartial investigations into recent acts of intimidation.