Peru: Cajamarca repression sparks protests

Spontaneous protests broke out in the town of Celendín, in the highlands of Peru's Cajamarca region, after the April 8 arrest at a National Police road checkpoint of six members of the "Guardians of the Lagunas," the campesino vigilance committee that has established an encampement to protect lakes threatened by the Conga gold mine project. The six, stopped on their way to the encampement, were charged with "crimes against the public peace" and illegal bearing of arms. They were removed from the region to the coastal city of Chiclayo, where they continue to be held. Among the detained is Fredy García Becerra, mayoral candidate for the local municipal district of Huasmín with the Frente Amplio party. (Celendin Libre, April 11; La Republica, April 10; Celendin Libre, April 9; Celendin Libre, April 8)

  1. Peru: police harassment of Conga protesters

    On April 17, National Police stopped a vehicle convoy of some 1,000 ronderos headed for the Conga site to rebuild a shelter that had been destroyed by police in March along Laguna  Namococha. Two trucks filled with construction materials were seized by the police, on the pretext that the ronderos could not provide proof of purchase. Protest leader Ydelso Hernández Llamo and several other rondero leaders were also detained at the checkpoint. They were taken to a police outpost at the community of Chanta Alta, and released that evening. Police said they were released along with the seized construction materials upon producing documents showing proof of purchase. (Celendin Libre, Celendin Libre, April 18; La Republica, Jan. 17)