Campesino communities affected by mining in Peru’s Andean departments of Junín and Huancavelica, meeting July 23 in Junín’s capital, issued a “Declaration of Huancayo,” demanding a new constitution guaranteeing the fundamental rights of the country’s indigenous peoples and establishing the “agricultural character of our country, and not the mineral.” The meeting, formally the “Bioregional Forum on Mining, Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Health and Prior Consultation,” was convened by the National Confederation of Communities Affected by Mining (CONACAMI). It additionally demanded the government declare fragile ecosystems such as river headwaters and glaciers off-limits to mining.
The document called for a reorganization of Peru’s indigenous affairs agency, the National Institute for the Development of Andean, Amazonian and Afro-Peruvian Peoples (INDEPA), with executive offices reserved for indigenous peoples. It called for establishment of vice-ministries for Indigenous Issues and Bilingual Education in the Culture Ministry. It demanded that the government’s Organism for the Formalization of Informal Property (COFOPRI) cease titling rural estates (predios) until mechanisms are established to coordinate with the Agriculture Ministry to assure that indigenous land rights are protected. Other demands included declaring Peru a transgenic-free country. (Servindi, July 26)
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