MAC/20: Mines and Communities

PERU

Published by MAC on 2007-06-19

PERU

Front for the Development of the Northern Border of Peru

Press Office

19th June 2007

Public Consultation on Río Blanco Project Set for September 30

The date for the public consultation regarding the acceptance or rejection of the mining project Río Blanco in the mountains of Piura was agreed upon this Tuesday June 19. The consultation was agreed in a meeting in the Hotel Samanga of Ayavaca, with the mayors of Pacaipampa, Ayavaca, Ronda leaders and representatives of the Front for the Defense of Development in the Northern Border of Peru. After some three hours of debate, the public consultation was set for September 30 in the districts of Carmen de la Frontera (Huancabamba), Ayavaca and Pacaipampa.

The call for the consultation was made in the face of worries in Ayavaca who have spoken of community desires to carry out the consultation at the end of July, as the communities of the region have shown their displeasure at how far away is the consultation. This resulted in a first agreement of the Front to set the date for September 30. Another reason that the organizations of Ayavaca argued is the three years in which the population has been gaining consciousness over the threat of mining and in which they have been demanding actions in the defense of campesino communities.

Before these arguments, the representative and spokesperson of the Front for the Defense of the Northern Border of Peru, lawyer Kike Rodríguez, explained the reasons for their position, which includes the fact that the process should be free, informed and with true citizen participation, in which the decision of he population of the Piurana mountains will be respected.

The mayor of Pacaipampa argued that as a Municipality, they will respect the agreement of the Front, as will the mayor of Ayavaca, Humberto Marchena, and he stated his commitment to the defense of the communities; he declared that it is not the moment to place blame or seek the guilty, rather to carry out responsible actions, to add to and back the agreement of the Front. The President of the Community of Yanta, Senecio Jiménez Peña, affirmed that the commitments of the Front should be respected.

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