MAC: Mines and Communities

Chiclayo Declaration

Published by MAC on 2007-03-31



We are organizations gathered in the Macro-Regional Workshop of the North of Peru on Risk Analysis and Defense of the Environment, in the city of Chiclayo, March 23 and 24, 2007, to promote the defense of the environment, the rights to life, peace, justice and sustainable development; we reject every action which violates the fundamental rights of persons and which prevents the creation of a Culture of Peace.

1. The Northeastern macro region has been the site of an accelerated expansion of extractive industries which are destroying and contaminating the natural sources of water. This is provoking a growing climate of social conflicts, which is also the fruit of the imposition and violation of human rights, putting in danger the security of many people, and has even resulted in the deaths of several environmental leaders.

2. The corporations involved in extractive industries are carrying out intimidation actions such as espionage and surveillance, as well as media campaigns of defamation against community leaders, social organizations, non-governmental organizations and even churches who are committed to the defense of human and environmental rights. These defamation campaigns have reached journalists identified with the defense of life and are designed to divide and generate confusion and even confrontation between grassroots social organizations.

3. In this climate of social conflicts we see that along with the actions of the companies, it is our very own State which is criminalizing the protests of citizens, as there are dozens of environmental leaders who have been charged, processed and sentenced without due process. This serves only to sharpen the perception of communities that justice is weighted to favor the interests of the companies and against the populations.

4. There is a clear tendency of the heightening of risks because of actions carried out by the companies against the defenders of the environment, and as the majority of the police and judicial investigations are not uncovering the facts nor identifying the perpetrator. This is creating a dangerous environment of impunity which could increase the already existing violence.

5. Current norms do not guarantee adequate citizen participation, nor do they contain previous, free and informed consultation processes of the populations where mining, petroleum and forestry activities are to be carried out. On the contrary, the new laws limit even more the scanty participation which the previous norms dictated earlier. This is resulting in the imposition of mining projects upon communities against their own alternate development projects, such as is occurring in the Rio Blanco project of Minera Majaz in the northern border, or in San Martin with the petroleum companies.

In the face of this, we demand:

1. That the State promote laws which guarantee informed citizen participation and the right to sustainable development of the communities.

2. That the State, through its police, district attorneys and judicial institutions investigate and punish the material and intellectual authors of the violent attacks against the lives and security of defenders of the environment and their organizations.

3. That companies involved in extractive industries in the northern macro region immediately stop actions of harassment and persecution against leaders and organizations who are defending the environment.

4. The withdrawal of the private security firm FORZA from the entire northern macro region, as there is ample evidence that shows they are carrying out acts of espionage against defenders of the environment, as corroborated by documented journalist investigations.

Finally, we are in solidarity with the leaders, social organizations, journalists, social communicators, nongovernmental organizations and with the churches of our macro region which because of their work defending the environment have become victims of attacks of the companies and media outlets linked to these companies.

The undersigned organizations reaffirm to the defense of human and environmental rights of our region, and we commit ourselves to continue working to build more democratic and environmentally just society.

Unanimously approved,

Vicaría de la Solidaridad del Vicariato Apostólico de Jaén – Asociación Marianista de Acción Social (AMAS) - Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos (CNDDHH) - Asociación pro Derechos Humanos (APRODEH) - Grupo de Formación e Intervención para el Desarrollo Sostenible (GRUFIDES) – Piura, Vida y Agro "Godofredo García Baca" - Asociación Paz y Esperanza, Moyobamba – Asociación Civil Radio Marañón - Red Verde, Cajamarca - Radio Cutivalú - Radio San José - Frente de Defensa de Yanacanchilla, Cajamarca – Federación Provincial de Rondas Comunidades y Rondas Campesinas de la Provincia de Luya, Amazonas – Federación Distrital y Comunidades Campesinas del Distrito de Tabaconas, Provincia de San Ignacio - Federación Regional de Rondas Campesinas de Cajamarca - Frente de Defensa de los Intereses de la Comunidad de Pampa Larga, Suyo, Ayabaca – Instituto para la Biodiversidad, Cultura y Desarrollo de Lambayeque - Comunidad Campesina de Yanta – Central Fronteriza de Cafetaleros del Norte, Jaén y San Ignacio (CEMFROCAFE) - Juventud Organizada en Defensa de la Ecología , Ayabaca - Federación Distrital de Rondas Campesinas de Tabaconas – Asociación Ecologista Trópico Seco, Piura – Comité de Gestión Hídrica para la Defensa del Agua y del Medio Ambiente de la Cuenca de Baños del Inca, Cajamarca – Federación Provincial de Comunidades Campesinas, Ayabaca - Frente de Defensa del Medio Ambiente de Huancabamba – Frente por el Desarrollo Sostenible de la Frontera Norte – ONG Comisión de Solidaridad Desarrollo y Justicia (COSDEJ), Lambayeque - Comunidad Campesina Segunda y Cajas, Huancabamba – Asociación Civil Vida Verde, Hualgayoc – Federación Sub Regional de Rondas Campesinas Jaén y San Ignacio – Red de Ecologistas de Chongoyape.

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