PERUPublished by MAC on 2007-05-19
Father Arana Openly and Seriously Threatened
By Edmundo Cruz with collaboration of Elizabeth Prado
19th May 2007
Leaders of the environmental NGO, Grufides, have confronted three acts of aggression in the past month. The organization supports campesino communities affected by the Yanacocha mining concession.
The first of these events took place on Thursday, April 12 in the area near the mining project "La Quinua," in the La Pajuela community. Two pickup trucks, one red and the other blue, followed Father Marco Arana from eight till ten o'clock at night. The license plates were registered to Minera Yanacocha. The Grufides leader was traveling with another priest and two reporters from Germany. Along the road from Cajamarca-Bambamarca, the driver of one of the two vehicles with the logo "Forza" (the security agency of Yanacocha), stopped their vehicle and asked the religious leader for his identity documents.
Two weeks later, on April 26, at 5:30 am, three masked men forced themselves upon the doorman of the NGO, Sr. Lorenzo Herrera Alva, asking for Father Arana. They threatened him with a firearm before leaving. Now, just this Saturday, May 12, a death threat was made to the home of Patricia Rosas, a Grufides project coordinator. The threat was reported yesterday in Lima at the seat of the Human Rights Coordinator.
On his part, Father Marco Arana made a call for the solution of the conflict produced in the province of Santa Cruz, Cajamarca, where a group of community vigilance members and campesinos seized the mining camp of La Zanja, property of the mining firm Buenaventura.