MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Farmers Insist: Life Yes, Mining NO!

Published by MAC on 2007-06-25

Farmers Insist: Life Yes, Mining NO!

Diario El Tiempo, Piura, Perù

25th June 2007

There is no arm-twisting here. And it is a decision already made. Around five thousand persons, residents, comuneros, ronderos, authorities and social groups of Ayabaca, again demonstrated in favour of agriculture and against mining activities in the area, in a peaceful march carried out Sunday in this city in the mountains of Piura, on the Day of the Campesino. To cries of Farming YES, mining NO!, Yes to the consultation, NO to the Majaz Mines!, some five thousand persons participated in a peaceful march called by the Federation of Campesino Communities, who intend to reaffirm their commitment to farming, on the Day of the Campesino, as well as to draw attention to the popular consultation to be carried out this September 30. Delegations from the communities of Yanta, Montero, the Central of campesino rondas of Pacaipampa, Lagunas, the Defense Front for the Environment of Ayabaca, Cepicafé, the NGO Escaes participated in the demonstration and meeting, as well as neighbour delegations from Tambogrande, who have already lived the experience of rejecting the Canadian mining firm Manhattan. Also present were city authorities from Ayabaca, headed by the mayor, Humberto Marchena Villegas, as well as the regional board member Migual Galecio Renterìa and the Congressperson Marisol Espinoza Cruz, invited by the Federation.

The gathering of the delegations happened in the indoor stadium of Ayabaca, where the multitudes departed at 10:30 am to march though the principal streets and arrive at the main plaza, where the meeting was carried out. In her speech, the Congressperson Espinoza Cruz, said that the time has come to back the popular consultation because there is a principle of property which is being violated, and it is not possible that upon the basis on two or three official directives that the issue of property of the communities can be ignored in order to make way for a document that is practically illegal. She said that furthermore, the very Public Ombudsperson office has already recognized this illegality, and for this they are backing the consultation where the people will have a right to choose the model of development and economic activities that they desire, as well as the tranquillity of the natural environment. The First Councilperson from the Municipality of Ayabaca, Deiber Flores, spoke in the demonstration to reject the attitude of the National Police and the Justice because they are partial and in favour of the mining firms, and that these institutions only move when they consider that the security of mining is in jeopardy.

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