A major mining push from the government has led to widespread social conflict across Peru's highlands. In this photo, police protect equipment to be used for the planned Minas Conga gold mine in Cajamarca

A major mining push from the government has led to widespread social conflict across Peru’s highlands. In this photo, police protect equipment to be used for the planned Minas Conga gold mine in Cajamarca

From World War 4 Report, two bits of news from Peru’s anti-mines movement:

Peru: peasant leader killed in Cajamarca
A campesino leader in Peru’s Cajamarca region, the scene of ongoing protests over mining operations, was assassinated June 26. Carlos Vásquez Becerra, vice president of the Provincial Federation of Rondas Campesinas (peasant self-defense patrols) was found beaten to death in Chiramayo Canyon in his native Santa Cruz province. The day before, he had led a meeting of comuneros in nearby Ninabamba district to plan protests against the operations of La Zanja mining company.  The National Unitary Center of Rondas Campesinas of Peru (CUNARC) is demanding an investigation. (Caballero Verde, La Nueva Prensa, Cajamarca, RPP, June 26) One campeisno was killed in protests over La Zanja’s local operations in 2004.

Struggle against mine-waste incinerator
In La Libertad region, bordering Cajamarca, the Central Committee for the Defense and Development of the Jequetepeque Watershed issued a statement rejecting as “fraudulent” an inspection carried out by congressional deputy José León of a mine-waste incinerator under construction at Pampa Chilco, San Pedro de Lloc district, and protesting his position in approval of the project. The installation, being built by the Peruvian subsidiary of Spanish firm Befesa, would burn toxic waste from the operations of Yanacocha mining company in Cajamarca and Barrick Gold in La Libertad. The Jequetepeque is the principal river that drains the Cajamarca highlands to the Pacific, and its valley supports much peasant agriculture. (CCCJ statement via Caballero Verde, June 25; El Comercio, Feb. 3, 2012)