Mines or minorities? Social mobilization against mining companies inPeru
03 / 2008 - 12 / 2012
This research studies processes of social mobilization in response to the entrance of industrial mining companies. In the last decade, mining industries have been actively encouraged by the Peruvian state. Thus from 1992 to 1997 the area dedicated to mining has increased from 4 million ha to 18 million ha. Mining operations compete for natural resources (especially water) with other productive activities. Added to this mining often causes a transformation of economic and social structures within communities. To counteract this situation, and defend communitiesÂ¿ rights, social movements are emerging which articulate local rural communities with organizations (mostly environmental organizations) at national and international levels. This research analyses two such cases. The first one is San Mateo de Huanchor district; which has engaged in a longstanding struggle with the Lisandro ProaÃ±o mining company. The second case involves communities of Cajamarca, which are struggling with the Yanacocha mining company. They are strongly confronted with intimidation from the mining companies and internationally advocated `alternative conflict resolution mechanismsÂ¿ that, in spite of declared intentions divide and rule the local families and negatively affecting social mobilization efforts. An important element of the research is to examine how water users articulate local struggles with provincial, national and international levels.