Human Rights Violations in Peru
The protest movement of several thousand Peruvians against the expansion of the Yanacocha mine in Cajamarca was aggravating in the summer of 2012. Since December 2011, a state of emergency was declared in northern Peru three times. According to the news agency Reuters, 5 protesters have been killed and 21 injured in the course of the demonstrations.
The mine which is mainly owned by US-based Newmont Mining Corporation threatens the livelihood of local farmers due to a potential water shortage and heavy environmental pollution and has thus evoked continuous protests.
Local organizations critical of the mine claimed that the local water sources had become contaminated, traditional medicinal plants had declined and the influx of job seekers to the area had increased crime. Every attempt to expand the Yanacocha mine, was accompanied by heavy protests which in turn endangered the social stability of Peru. The Peruvian Prime Minister had even been replaced by former Minister of Justice Jimenez because he had failed to reconcile the opposing social groups in the conflict.
The Yanacocha gold mine is the largest goldmine in Latin America and the second largest in the world. It manifests Peru’s biggest Direct Foreign Investment project.