Thursday, February 2, 2012

Peru: Great National March for Water begins against mining and water privatization

Yesterday February 1st, began in several villages and towns of Peru the Great National March for Water in support for the indigenous communities affected by the mining projects of Cajamarca (North).

The demonstration is against the privatization of water, the intervention in water heads and glacier basins and the recognition of access to water as a fundamental human right. Additionally they also demand a pause in mining concessions and prohibition of the use of mercury and cyanide in the extractive processes.

There are 148 open and 67 latent water conflicts in the Andean country. The most affected regions are Puno, Ancash, Cajamarca and Cuzco. 55% of these environmental conflicts are caused by extractive activities and externalizing costs to the environment.

They happen since mining and oil corporations, legal or illegal, entered native communities, without respecting the right to consultation, the environment, the Andean cosmovision nor the natural resources needed by the peoples to live.

In 2011 there were already violent confrontations between the People and the capitalists, backed by the state. 

In Puno water pollution reaches 80% and only 25% of the people can access safe water. There are more than two thousand mining concessions in that region. 

Among other activities, there will be a  water, mining and welfare forum in Lima on Feb 8th and 9th. An informal Hydric Justice Court will try and impose moral sanctions against environmental criminals. 

Source: LINyM[es].

Update (Feb 3): Police impeded the march to reach the controversial and most important mining project in Cajamarca, known as Conga (LINyM[es])

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