Target: Carlos Basombrío Iglesias, Peruvian Minister of the Interior
Goal: Ensure the safety of Máxima Acuña and her family, and ensure Yanacocha personnel stay off their land pending the resolution of the dispute.
Máxima Acuña, a prominent Peruvian environmental activist, has been taken to hospital after allegedly being assaulted by security personnel in the employ of Yanacocha, a mining company. Mrs. Acuña and her family have a long running legal dispute with Yanacocha over ownership of the land on which her and her family are subsistence farmers. Reportedly, Yanacocha security personnel also destroyed crops which, if true, would be the second time this year that security personnel have destroyed crops on the family’s land.
While Yanacocha claims ownership of the land, Peruvian courts have twice ruled that Mrs. Acuña and her family have a right to remain and farm on their land. Despite these rulings, Yanacocha continues to claim ownership, and is suing the family in civil court.
Given the fact that Yanacocha personnel have previously entered their land, it is not unreasonable to expect security personnel to return to harass the family. Sign our petition and demand protection for Máxima Acuña and her family and for an order to keep Yanacocha personnel off their land.
Dear Minister Iglesias,
I was shocked to hear of the hospitalization of Máxima Acuña following an assault by individuals allegedly employed by the Yanacocha Mining Company. Similar to a previous attack, these individuals, armed with batons and shields, burnt the crops Mrs. Acuña and her family rely on to survive. This comes despite two court rulings, one by a court in Cajamarca and another by the Peruvian Supreme Court, recognizing their right to the land.
Clearly, Yanacocha will not halt its actions on its own, and must be directed to do so. Accordingly, I urge you to do everything in your power to prevent Yanacocha personnel from entering onto Máxima Acuña’s land. In order to guarantee this, I believe that Máxima Acuña and her family must be afforded state protection from intimidation, assault, and damage to their property. Furthermore, I believe that this campaign of harassment must be investigated, and those responsible prosecuted.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Wendy Ramos