MAC: Mines and Communities

Regional Strike Against Majaz, Perú

Published by MAC on 2006-05-29

Regional Strike Against Majaz, Perú

Lima, CNR

29th May 2006

The provinces of Ayabaca, Huancabamba, Morropón, San Ignacio and Jaén in northern Peru have initiated a 48 hour regional strike in protest against the mining project Río Blanco of mining company Majaz [a subsidiary of UK-listed Monterrico Metals]. The Front of Sustainable Development of the North Border, organizer of the show of force, has demanded that the executive government defend the campesinos, who have seen their lands expropriated by the mining company.

Ramiro Ibánez Ibáñez, president of the Environmental Defense Front of Huancabamba, insisted on the necessity of the government playing a central role in the situation, since the operations of Majaz have damaged the equilibrium of the zone. At the same time he condemend the strikers or "ronderos," being persecuted by authorities, to the point of being their accused of being "narcoterrorists" for defending the legitimate property of farmers in the region.

On his part, Quique Rodríguez, legal assesor of the Front for Sustainable Development of the North Border, accused Majaz of utilizing the police to force community residents to sign authorizations for their mining project, when the project has been roundly rejected by the community. He also criticized representatives of the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MEM) who have withdrawn unilaterally from the dialogue process initiated to resolve the conflict.

Because of this, he asked that the next government srike down the Supreme Decrees 022 and 023 and the mining concession for the project of Río Blanco and demanded the immediate dropping of charges and legal processes against strikers.
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