MAC: Mines and Communities

Is another Bagua massacre just around the corner?

Published by MAC on 2011-01-17
Source: Statement, Servindi (2011-01-07)

A year and a half following the deaths of at least thirty three indigenous and non-indigenous civilians and police near the town of Bagua, Peru, anthropologist Frederica Barclay suggest that the Peruvian government has failed to implement any significant changes toward greater consultation with indigenous peoples whose territories are being affected by sprawling logging, oil, hydroelectric and mining concessions in the Peruvian Amazon.

In the case of the Awajún and Wampi indigenous peoples in the northern Amazon living close to the border with Ecuador, who provided a powerful presence at Bagua, Barclay notes that the government has funded the creation of a parallel indigenous organizations  to create divisions among communities in the area and to support mining. See: Indigenous groups reject "consultation" by Government and Minera Afrodita in northern Peru

Within this context, the Canadian company New Dimension Resources announced that it has now obtained all of the titles to ten mineral concessions along the Cordillera del Condor. It fails to make any mention of the longstanding, vociferous rejection against mining from indigenous peoples living in these Amazonian headwaters, as indicated in the bulletin from AIDESEP. For a related conflict in the area see: Dorato Resources Suspended by Peruvian Authorities

Other large scale mining projects along the border are Dorato Resources and Minera Afrodita on the Peruvian side of the border and Ecuacorriente and Kinross Gold in Ecuador.

ESPAÑOL

Peru: Government Gives Mining Concessions To Canadian Company Without Consulting Awajun People

Aidesep Statement

7 January 2011

Despite opposition to mining exploration among the Awajún indigenous population of Cenepa due to damages caused to forests, Canada's New Dimension Resources Ltd. (NDR) reports that its subsidiary Minera NDR Peru hopes to make significant discoveries of gold in this border area, located in the Amazon region along the border with Ecuador, now that they have received the ten titles for the original mineral concessions belonging to their project.

Company president, Fred Hewett, stated that NDR Minera Peru carried out two prospection programs on the concessions it has in Cenepa last year, which showed positive values of gold sediments and indicated three anomalies.

He also reported that the company received the final confirmation for the title to the original concession for their Cenepa project, which concludes a process initiated in 2006.

NDR said that now that they have received the 10 titles to the original concessionsthat they needed, they will focus on Cenepa project development, which has an important extension in which mineralization is similar to that seen in the proposed Condor project, located on the other side of the border in Ecuador.

The Cenpea project covers an area of over 9,000 hectares along the border with Ecuador, including the southern extension of a 20 km long ore belt that includes the Condor Project and Fruta del Norte discovery in the neighbouring country.

The Condor project was acquired by fellow Canadian Kinross Gold Corporation in September 2008 and has inferred mineral resources in the Fruta del Norte deposit of 13.7 million ounces of gold.

Also, within the Condor project is the prospect Aguas Mesas Sur, the most prominent in the gold belt 20 km, and located just five miles north Cenepa project, in line with NDR Minera Peru's property.

Although exploration in the area has been limited, on the basis of the known mineralization trend, based upon the similar geological environment and field results, NDR Cenepa believes to have great prospects for new discoveries.


New Dimension Receives Last Original Title Confirmation at Cenepa Gold Project, Peru

New Dimension Release

4 January 2011

New Dimension Resources Ltd. (the "Company" or "New Dimension") is pleased to report that title confirmation has been received by Minera NDR Peru S.A.C. ("NDR Peru") for the last original concession within the Company's Cenepa gold project ("the Property"), located in northern Peru.

"I am very pleased with our success in obtaining title to the last original concession which was staked in 2006," said Fred Hewett, President and CEO of New Dimension. "Now that the Company has received titles to all ten original concessions we can focus on advancing the Cenepa gold project, which represents a significant land position where mineralization as seen at Kinross' Condor Project in Ecuador, projects across the border into Peru. Management believes the potential for discovery here is significant."

About the Cenepa Gold Project

The Property totals over 9,000 hectares in northern Peru along its border with Ecuador and covers the southern projection of a 20 kilometre long north-south trending mineral belt that includes Kinross' Condor Project and the Fruta del Norte gold discovery.

The Condor Project, situated in Ecuador adjacent to the Peruvian border, was acquired by Kinross in September 2008 and hosts a NI 43-101 compliant Inferred Mineral Resource at the Fruta del Norte deposit of 13.7 million ounces of gold. Kinross has stated they intend to complete a pre-feasibility study shortly and expect to complete a full feasibility study within the first half of 2011.

Also within Kinross' Condor Project is the Aquas Mesas Sur prospect, which includes an announced drill intercept of 51.1 g/t gold over 9.2 metres. This prospect is the southern-most known gold occurrence within this emerging gold belt and is located only five kilometres north, and on trend with, NDR Peru's Property (http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ndr-cenepa.jpg).

To date there has been very limited exploration in Peru in the area where the Condor Project mineral trend crosses the border. However based on the known trend of mineralization, a similar geologic environment and field results, the Company believes the Property is highly prospective for new discoveries. During the past year, NDR Peru completed two successful prospecting programs on its Cenepa concessions, which returned positive gold values from stream sediment sampling and outlined three gold anomalies with values greater than 400 ppb (http://www.newdimensionresources.com/i/maps/cenepa/2010-10-18_Rock_&_Stream_Sample_Au.jpg).

About New Dimension Resources

New Dimension is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of quality mineral resource properties throughout the Americas with a focus onsignificant bulk tonnage gold and silver deposits. In addition to its 100% owned Cenepa gold project, New Dimension has an option to earn a 100% interest in Strategic Metals' Gild gold property within a geological belt that the Company & Strategic Metals believes has similar characteristics to discoveries by ATAC Resources Ltd. in the Yukon (http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/ndr-gild.pdf). Drilling on the ATAC Property has returned significant gold values, as demonstrated by announced intercepts of 9.25 g/t gold over 31.1 metres and 24.07 g/t gold over 28.4 metres from over 25,000 metres of diamond drilling in excess of 130 holes. An initial exploration program is anticipated by the Company as soon as spring weather conditions allow. Subject to favourable results from this initial program and the receipt of all necessary permits, a drill program is likely to be carried out in the fall of 2011.

The technical information in this news release has been prepared in accordance with Canadian regulatory requirements set out in National Instrument 43-101 and reviewed by Fred Hewett the Company's President & CEO, a director and a Qualified Person under NI 43-101

ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
NEW DIMENSION RESOURCES LTD.

"Fred G. Hewett"


Peru: A Year and a Half after the Bagua Massacre: the Strategy of "The Leopard" (1)

By Frederica Barclay

Servendi

12 January 2011

Bagua shocked the nation because of its tragic and needless death toll that resulted from the disproportionate and poor handling of a military operation, for which no one has assumed responsibility, and because it showed that the government of Alan García had attempted to surreptitiously bring down the constitutional regime pertaining to the Amazonian Indigenous Peoples' rights to favor big private interests. After the events, the outrage of the citizens was proportional to the magnitude of the shock. The reaction of various bodies in charge of overseeing compliance with international human rights treaties, of which Peru is a signatory, was also immediate, and the country was subject to very serious criticism.

It was hoped that the government would mend its ways. That seemed to be the case when four roundtables were created with the purpose of implementing the proposals that arose therefrom. Nevertheless, a year and a half later, it has become evident that it attempted to apply the strategy of "The Leopard": "if we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change" (2).

Roundtable 1 concluded with a pro-government report of the commission created to investigate the events that occurred in Bagua. Far from explaining the causes of the conflict and establishing responsibilities, the report attributed the events to some instigators and the ignorance of the indigenous peoples. Although the government could not prevent the change of cabinet at the time, neither policymakers, nor those in charge of the military operation have been sanctioned at all after the "minority" report and at least two congressional reports on the same subject documented in detail the deficiencies of their performance. The government could have closed this chapter had the nomination of its party's candidate for the presidential elections not reminded everyone of the blood shed.

Roundtable 2 concluded with the agreement, which was subsequently limited by government officials, to reverse all the laws that had led to the protests in 2008 and 2009, which Congress had not yet repealed. However, several issues are still pending. Furthermore, the regime seems to be interested in preventing, by all means necessary, the new Forestry Act from being consulted. This is not surprising. Not only has Bill 04141/2009-PE, currently in the hands of the Agriculture Committee of Congress, yet to offer the full guarantees of respect for indigenous peoples' territories, but the government has no intention of implementing the procedure of prior consultation, on which Roundtable 3 worked diligently and in good faith. The observation made by the government to the consultation bill approved by the Congress, the sole objective of which was to block it, does not exempt it from the obligation established in Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO), but has served as validation to continue acting arbitrarily time and time again, despite the criticism of the Ombudsman.

There is no other way to describe the recent oil block bid rounds that granted 13 new concessions in the Amazon region on indigenous territories and the announcement of the intention to grant 11 more through direct negotiations, creating the farce that the informative meetings comply with the fundamental obligation of consultation.

Even worse, proposals have now been made to eliminate the requirement of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) in hydroelectric projects, some of which would be developed on indigenous territories, until final concessions are granted. The list of post-Bagua projects to which the government has shown absolute leniency, including the proposal to allow a pipeline to cross the Megantoni National Sanctuary, is long. No less extensive is the list of issues agreed upon at Roundtable 4 in relation to a development plan for the Amazon region, with which the government has failed to comply.

But the lack of willingness of the government to mend its ways is not only evident from a regulatory and administrative standpoint. The clumsy attempts to create ghost indigenous organizations at the most critical time of the conflict have given way to the unlimited financing of parallel organizations without representation. It is shameful that they occur on the land of the Awajún people, a victim of the military operation of Bagua. The government has created the "Awajún Coordinator Body", and none other than Admiral Giampietri is behind it. His only purpose is to break wills, corrupt leaders and officials so that they accept mining projects and thus weaken the organizations that are determined to defend their land, while opponents are harassed. For the Awajún people, a lot is a stake. In addition to the mining concessions along the border, for which the government led by the American Popular Revolutionary Party (APRA) party approved the reduction of the National Ichigkat Muja - Cordillera del Cóndor National Park, and Oil Block 116 (856,000 hectares), which overlaps almost one hundred Awajún and Wampis communities of the Santiago, Cenepa, Nieva and Marañón rivers, it recently gave Block 165 in concession to Emerald Energy, while two more block concessions are still pending (172 and 163).

The consequences of this include a serious increase in conflicts that threatens social peace in this region. The creation of ghost organizations with government funding, a practice previously implemented by oil companies, is also beginning to be seen in other areas, where projects, which are rejected by the indigenous population and their organizations, are being encouraged. Let us hope that another Bagua massacre is not around the corner.

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Notas:

(1) The Leopard is a novel by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa that chronicles the changes in Sicilian life and society during the Risorgimento.

(2) Idem.

Source: Published in the Ideele magazine of the Institute of Legal Defense

Translation for Servindi by Sylvia Fisher.

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