Peru: police surround Conga occupation

Hundreds of campesinos on March 1 established an encampment and began building a large shelter on the shores of Laguna Azul, within the lease area of the Conga mining project, pledging to block any attempt by the Yanacocha company to bring in equipment. At nightfall, the campesinos from the provinces of Bambamarca, Celendín and Cajamarca, are holding an assembly as some 300 National Police have surrounded them. Edy Benavides, a leader of the camp and president of the Defense Front of Hualgayoc (a municipal district in Bambamarca), accused Yanacocha of lying to the people of the region in its claim to have “suspended” the Conga project. Other leaders of the encampment are Milton Sánchez, president of the Interinstitutional Platform of Celendín, and Marco Arana, leader of the political movement Tierra y Libertad. (La Republica, RPP, March 1)

See video footage at Celendín Libre.