MAC: Mines and Communities

Peru: Journalists arbitrarily detained after screening documentary about Hudbay Minerals

Published by MAC on 2017-04-24
Source: MiningWatch Canada, Reuters, TeleSur

What does Hudbay have to hide from Peruvians?

MiningWatch Canada’s Latin America Program Coordinator, Jen Moore, and US journalist, John Dougherty, were arbitrarily detained in Cusco, Peru after a successful public event screening a documentary film about Hudbay Minerals’ operations in Canada, the US, Guatemala and Peru. The two were surrounded by 15 to 20 national police officers and taken into custody.

An anonymous article in a Cusco newspaper accused Moore and Peruvian organizations coordinating the film screenings of trying to “ambush” Hudbay. The ambush, however, was against those involved in the film screenings.

On Saturday, the Peruvian Ministry of the Interior issued a public statement affirming the Peruvian government’s support for Hudbay’s operations and further trying to incriminate Moore and Dougherty with accusations of being a threat to the national security.

See also on MAC:

2016-11-11 Peru: Communities Strike at HudBay Constancia Mine

2016-01-31 Thousands Protest HudBay Minerals’ Constancia Mine in Peru

2014-11-12 Peruvian Community Denounces HudBay Minerals for Violations over Constancia Project

MiningWatch Canada Staff Member, US Journalist Arbitrarily Detained in Peru over Documentary About Hudbay Minerals’ Operations

24 April, 2017
(Ottawa) At about 8:20pm on the night of Friday April 22, MiningWatch Canada’s Latin America Program Coordinator Jen Moore and US journalist John Dougherty were arbitrarily detained in Cusco, Peru after a successful public event screening a documentary film about Hudbay Minerals’ operations in Canada, the US, Guatemala and Peru. The two were surrounded by 15 to 20 national police officers, many in plain clothes, and a handful of migration officers and taken into custody.

Moore and Dougherty were then questioned about their immigration status and informed that their activities – showing a film and engaging in discussion with people about it – were not permitted under their tourist visas. They were released four hours later with an order to appear in court today to be charged.

“The situation that arose on Friday is not about our immigration status, it is about Hudbay trying to exert control over what information communities living around its Constancia mine have access to. What is Hudbay so afraid that the communities will learn from a film about its global operations?” remarked Moore.

Stigmatization and criminalization of those involved in screening the documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” in communities around Hudbay’s Constancia mine, as well as in Cusco and Lima, began well before Jen and John arrived in Cusco on April 15. An anonymous article in a Cusco newspaper accused Jen Moore, MiningWatch Canada, and Peruvian organizations coordinating the film screenings with local organizations and district authorities of trying to “ambush” Hudbay.

The ambush, however, was against those involved in the film screenings.

From April 17 to 20, while the film was being screened in public events in the province of Chumbivilcas, Peru where Hudbay has its largest mine operation, Dougherty, MiningWatch Canada, and representatives of the Peruvian NGOs Human Rights Without Borders and Cooperacción were constantly filmed by unknown individuals and tracked by police, while community leaders reported being questioned by police and company representatives about the film screenings.

These public events were organised for Dougherty to share the film, which he had produced in part on the basis of interviews with members of the same communities in November 2014, when they were protesting Hudbay’s broken promises and faced violent police repression. Dougherty dubbed the film in Spanish and Quechua in order to be able to give copies of the film to the communities and screen it in the cities of Cusco and Lima.

The arbitrary detention on Friday night followed a screening at the municipal Cultural Centre in Cusco and lasted over four hours. During this time, Moore and Dougherty were asked to make a lengthy declaration about their activities in the country. Given the irregular way in which they were detained and prior evidence that the company and police were seeking evidence to lay criminal charges against them for ‘inciting violence’ by screening the film, they exercised their right to remain silent. 

On Saturday, the Peruvian Ministry of the Interior issued a public statement affirming the Peruvian government’s support for Hudbay’s operations and further trying to incriminate Dougherty and Moore with serious accusations of inciting people to violence and of being a threat to public order and national security. The Ministry’s statement tries to link the two to protests in 2016 over Hudbay’s broken commitments regarding social benefits, contractual agreements, and social and environmental issues in the area of the Constancia copper mine.

“I am deeply troubled by the apparent level of coordination between Hudbay, the police and the Peruvian government and the lengths to which they are willing to go to prevent local communities from receiving independent information,” said Moore.

“We know that Hudbay has had contracts with the national police force in Peru to provide security to its area of influence in Cusco, so it’s quite possible that the police could have been acting under company orders or according to their obligations to the company, not to public security,” she added.

“The Canadian government should be calling on the Peruvian Ministry of Interior and Hudbay to account for why a Canadian and US citizen, as well as members of Peruvian human rights and environmental justice organizations and local community leaders, were subject to this sort of surveillance, harassment and criminalization," concluded Moore. 

Dougherty and Moore were issued summonses to appear before the migration authority in Cusco on Monday morning. They will challenge this administrative process through their Peruvian legal counsel. On advice of their lawyers and fearing arrest on trumped-up charges, Dougherty and Moore left Peru on Saturday.

The film will be shown at 6 p.m., Tuesday, April 25 at CCPUCP, Avenue Camino Real, 1075 San Isidro, Lima. See for details.

Contact: Jen Moore, cell (613) 722-0412,

The film is available free on Youtube:

International Anti-Mining Activist, Filmmaker Released from Detention in Peru

The pair were screening a film that exposes a mining giant's abuses in Peru, Guatemala and Canada.

23 April 2017

An activist with MiningWatch Canada and the filmmaker behind a film exposing the abuses of Canadian mining company Hudbay Minerals have been released after being detained by Peruvian authorities during a screening in Cusco of the film that criticizes the Canadian firm's dirty track record.

Jen Moore from MiningWatch Canada and U.S. filmmaker John Dougherty were arrested Friday evening during a screening of “Hudbay Hoax,” which exposes the company’s abuses in Peru, Guatemala and Canada.

The film documents Dougherty traveling to the Peruvian Andes to tell the story of Indigenous villagers occupying a mine site after Peruvian police beat and tear gassed protesters angry over Hudbay’s failure to abide by an agreement.

After pressure from media coverage, several Peruvian NGOs and at least two members of Congress — Edgar Ochoa and Marco Arana — along with the legal support of Human Rights Without Borders and the organization Cooperaccion, Peru’s Ministry of the Interior released the two activists.

“Further action will be required to challenge the Peruvian government to justify the harassment and repression of local organisers as well as international visitors, but also to build support for the organisations and individuals who are continuing to work to protect the neighbouring communities from damage and to hold HudBay accountable,” Jamie Kneen, from MiningWatch Canada, said in a statement. “The company must vehemently denounce and discourage any and all repression in its favor, in the strongest possible terms.”

According to Stephanie Boyd, a Canadian filmmaker living in Peru who was present at the screening, the police had been following the pair “for several days as they showed the film to farming communities near Hudbay's Constancia mine.”

Boyd recounted in a statement that Moore and Dougherty were detained outside the Casa de la Cultura Cusco, a cultural center run by the municipality of Cusco, just after the screening had ended for an audience of half a dozen mining students from Cusco's public university.

Human rights lawyer Juan Carlos Ruiz Molleda from Institute of Legal Defense, a Peruvian non-profit organization, decried the detention as illegal.

"Unless a flagrant offense has been committed, only a judge can order a person's detention in Peru," he stated, according to Boyd's report. He also noted that Peru's constitution protects freedom of expression and that a foreign journalist, too, holds this right.

Peru evaluates expelling two foreigners for 'inciting' anti-mine protests

Apr 23, 2017

Peruvian police are evaluating the possible expulsion of two foreigners for "inciting" rural communities to protest against the Hudbay Minerals mining company, which owns a copper mine in the nation, the country's interior ministry said on Sunday.

The police, the ministry said, had requested documents from U.S. citizen John Dougherty, 61, and Canadian citizen Jennifer Moore, 42, who entered Peru earlier in April while claiming to be tourists.

"The authorities have abundant information that documents that their condition (as tourists) has not been complied with, as they have dedicated themselves to inciting townspeople ... against Canadian mining activity in Peru, in particular against the Constancia mine owned by the Hudbay company," the ministry said in a statement.

"The conduct of the foreigners is causing a change in public order ... meaning the application of expulsion measures would be appropriate," it added.

Hudbay temporarily suspended operations at its Constancia mine in November, in the midst of protests by rural Peruvians, who blocked highways demanding development projects such as schools they said the company had committed to building.

Neither of the two foreigners in question could be reached for comment, and nobody was available to comment at the Canadian embassy in Peruvian capital Lima.

Peru is the world's third largest copper producer, and mining is crucial for the national economy.

(Reporting by Teresa Cespedes; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Chris Reese)


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