Peru: Conga project to advance in 2013?

Peru’s Minister of Mines and Energy, Jorge Merino, assured international investors Dec. 21 that his government will make every effort to see the controversial Conga and Tía María mining projects move forward in 2013. The two projects, in Cajamarca and Arequipa region, respectivamente, have both been suspended after campesino protests.  The pledge is part of the Ollanta Humala government’s plan to attract $10 million in mining investment in 2013, $10 million more than this year. Merino also vowed to build new compression plants to expand the capacity of the trans-Andean Camisea gas pipeline from 1,200 cubic feet to 1,600. (El Comercio, Dec. 21)

According to Peru’s rights ombudsman, the Defensoría del Pueblo, released new figures finding that social conflcits over resources have claimed 218 lives over the past five years, among a total of 3,000 casualties. The conflicts mostly concern mining projects, water resources, and access to farming and forest lands. (La Primera, Dec. 28)