Peru: mineral company evicts campesino family

Peru's Yanacocha mining company is implicated in another forced eviction of a campesino family in the northern Cajamarca region. Campesino Segundo Lindorfo Bolaños Atalaya said that on Jan. 19, a mixed force of National Police and Yanacocha security personnel ejected him from his plot within a predio (collective land holding) at Tragadero Grande, Sorochuco district, Celendín province. Bolaños insisted that, contrary to company claims, his plot of six hectares had never been sold to Yanacocha. The plot lies near Laguna Azul, which Yanacocha hopes to convert into a waste pit for the pending Conga project, a new expansion of its massive gold operations in the area. Bolaños charged that Yanacocha's exploration activities on the Conga site had contaminated his plot, which he has long worked with his family. (Celendín Libre, Jan. 23) 

On Jan. 22, a state prosecutor announced that no charges would be brought in the case of four protesters who were killed in Celendín at a march against the Conga project in July 2012. Chiclayo Provincial Prosecutor Víctor Pinillos Padilla, to whom the case has been assigned, said the source of the gunfire in the incident could not be identified.  Víctor Álvarez of the National Human Rights Coordinator protested the finding, charging that Pinillos had relied on uncooperative army and police sources in his investigation. (La Republica, Jan. 22)