Help Protect Máxima Acuña and Her Family From Harassment and Attacks (Peru: UA 182/13)
Máxima Acuña and her family, subsistence farmers in northern Peru, have reported acts of harassment and physical attacks against them by security personnel from the Yanacocha mining company. They are in an ongoing legal dispute against the mining company over the ownership of a plot of land where the family lives.
Ysidora Chaupe, Máxima Acuña’s oldest daughter, told Amnesty International that on the morning of 18 September Máxima Acuña was alone with her husband Jaime Chaupe when around 20 private security officers from the Yanacocha mining company, along with an unidentified group of people, entered the land where Máxima Acuña and her family live and destroyed the crops they were growing for their own use. When Máxima and her husband attempted to stop the destruction of their crops, the security personnel used their containment shields and helmets to repress them. According to information which Amnesty International received from the Cajamarca Ombudsman’s Office, Máxima Acuña was taken to the city’s medical centre where medical staff indicated that she was suffering from a variety of injuries as a result of the confrontation. The company claims to have carried out the destruction of the crops in exercise of their ‘possessory right to defence’.
Amnesty International has confirmed that on 26 February a similar situation occurred in which the private security personnel from the mining company destroyed the food crops which the Acuña-Chaupe family were growing for their own use, claiming ‘possessory right to defence’ of the land.
Máxima Acuña and her family, who are subsistence farmers, have been in a dispute with the Yanacocha mining company for years over the ownership of the plot of land where they live in Tragadero Grande, Sorochuco district, Cajamarca region. On 17 December 2014 a Court in Cajamarca determined that the family was not guilty of illegally occupying the land, as claimed by the company. The mining company challenged the decision and on 9 March 2015 the Supreme Court confirmed the first acquittal ruling. The mining company is now challenging the ownership of the land in a civil court.
1) TAKE ACTION
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
Reminding the authorities that they must protect Máxima Acuña and her family from any acts of intimidation, according to their wishes, and must respect their human rights at all times;
Urging them to initiate a prompt, impartial and thorough investigation into the acts of intimidation and attacks reported by Máxima Acuña and her family and bring those responsible to justice.
Contact these 2 officials by 2 November, 2016:
Minister of Interior
Carlos Basombrío Iglesias
Ministro del Interior
Ministerio del Interior
Fax: +511 418 4030 (ask for: “tono de fax, por favor”)
Email: [email protected] Salutation: Dear Minister/Sr. Ministro
Ambassador Carlos Pareja, Embassy of Peru
1700 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036
Fax: 202 659 8124 I Phone: 202 833 9860 I Email: [email protected] Salutation: Dear Ambassador
2) LET US KNOW YOU TOOK ACTION
Here’s why it is so important to report your actions: we record the number of actions taken on each case and use that information in our advocacy. Either email [email protected] with “UA 182/13” in the subject line or click this link.