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Peru: Between greed, indifference and ignorance

Peru: Between greed, indifference and ignorance


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By Mesías Guevara Amasifuen

The government of Mr. García did not care that the Minas Conga project is located at the head of the basin of the Cajamarca-Celendín and Hualgayoc provinces and through the ANA it authorized the use of the waters. Surely many springs and some cataracts will be lost.


It is five in the morning. The sun is making its way, little by little, in the sky of Cajamarca. The historic city still sleeps. One by one we arrive at the meeting point, and then leave for our destination, which is to visit the sanctuary of the Cajamarca lagoons, a place where the Minas Conga project will also be carried out, whose partners are: Compañía de Minas Buenaventura (CMB), Newmont Mining Corporation (Newmont) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). We left Cajamarca, we passed through Otuzco, there we saw the windows of the old pre-Inca cemetery. Passing through Combayo we stop to see another burial complex marked on the hill. The old death was left in the way.

We arrive at the San Nicolás lagoon, where the mining camp seat has been established. In the place there is a checkpoint that controls the passage of citizens, there they ask us for our IDs. After consulting with his superior, the guard lets us pass. A van escorts us, a sign warns us that we are on "private property." Then other trucks are added to become a convoy. They tell us that an operations manager wants to accompany us, we tell them that it is fine but to reach out because our journey is long, we also want to be in Sorochuco.

Indeed, we are on our way. The beauty is unparalleled, the Chailhuagón lagoon is the one that welcomes us, curiously from it comes a steam that mysteriously rises and plays, and then disappears. While its crystalline waters play giving a little murmur. In the distance we can make out the wetlands, they are the very important and essential aquifers to harvest water.

We cross a small bridge and arrive at the El Perol lagoon. I bow before her and express my greeting, I touch her crystalline waters that are the source of life. A small breeze hits my face and shakes my hair, old Perol is upset, worried and asks for help to stop his sad destiny, he is going to disappear!

A few minutes away we find the Blue Lagoon, I approach its spring and drink its crystal clear water, it is sweet. My eyes are enchanted by its beauty, its waters are moved by the wind, a bird flies over it.

They asked us if we were withdrawing from “private property”, we told them that before we left we were going to the Mamacocha lagoon, and we did. On the way we saw the wetlands closely, in them you can see the traces of heavy machinery that travels indolently, opening wounds and being the beginning of the end. A rock worked by time and the wind attracts my attention, it has the shape of a resting crocodile, when I look down I find the lagoon, I talk with some community members who are in full swing, some are fixing their homes and others checking and feeding their trout. Once again my heart and mind are impressed by the work of divine nature. I repeat my rite, I bow and greet the beautiful lagoon.

Time was short for us to go to Alforjacocha, Laguna Mala and Laguna Chica, beautiful lagoons that I hope to see and greet forever.


The project will transfer the waters of the Mala, Chica, Azul and Perol lagoons. In replacement of the lagoons they offer the construction of four reservoirs. The Chailhuagón lagoon will also be available. These lagoons contain approximately 2,600,000 m3 of water. There is gold, copper and silver. The water and energy consumption of this project is enormous.

We begin our return through the Agua Blanca farmhouse. A friend invites us to visit his fish farm, he fishes some trout, which we taste with rice and celendine peas. We arrived in Sorochuco, a beautiful district of noble people. We step on its parade ground, we ask for the mayor, we are not lucky enough to find him. Curiously, a person with a provocative attitude takes pictures of us, approaches our trucks and does the same, we ignore him, we do not fall into provocation.

After our short stay, we continue our journey. The landscape is beautiful, beautiful and spectacular. The soil of the Cajamarca Region is one of the most beautiful and richest in Peru, its wealth is in its history, its people and its natural resources.

The Lord. García, a few days after leaving the government, through the ANA authorized the use of the waters. He approved the Environmental Impact Study with technical and ethical suspicions, the study lacks a hydrogeological study. Greed brings pride and arrogance. Dropping a few coins is believed to be enough to consolidate these projects. The government of Mr. García did not care that the project is located at the head of the watershed in the provinces of Cajamarca-Celendín and Hualgayoc. It did not seem important to him that more than 20 lagoons are located in the area and that there is a complex of wetlands surrounding these lagoons. Yes. He was passionate that the project has an investment of 4.8 billion dollars, the same that will be recovered in 30 months, while the operation will last 19 years.

On the other hand, there is the indifference of the municipal, regional and national authorities. In addition, there is the indifference of opinion leaders who know what is happening but say nothing about it. The Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Energy and Mines have been notified, they have been asked to explain the Environmental Impact Study to us. At the time, the national authority ignored the ecological zoning, the municipal and regional ordinance. The general law of the environment seemed insignificant to him.

The town ignores the beauty of the lagoon sanctuary and the negative impact that its exploitation would have. The people ignore that, that's why they don't act, that's why they don't say anything.

Greed, indifference and ignorance reign in Peru and especially in my Cajamarca Region. This triple alliance will darken our future, it will generate violence, it will attract the new death. The empire of transparency, clear deals, mutual respect and truth is urgent. It is essential that we become aware of the future of our people, that we take into account the environment as a philosophy of life and not as a political and media gesture. We need to remember that men and women are part of nature, so we should not act against it. Investment must be understood as a means and not assumed as an end. Let us prevent the voracity of capital from guiding us down the path of destruction and death. Let's be sensitive and sensible, let's defend life, defending our gaps.

Mesías Guevara Amasifuen he is a congressman of the Republic. A native of Cajamarca is a member of the Popular Action party. He is an electronic engineer with a master's degree in Business Administration graduated from the Peruvian University of Applied Sciences. He has a Diploma of Advanced Studies in Business Administration from the University of Seville and is currently a candidate for a Doctor of Business Administration from said university. Within his political experience he was leader of youth committees, former National Secretary General of Popular Action and former president of the national council of the AP government plan. - http://servindi.org


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