Newmont mining bullies poor farmer in Peru

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SOURCE:  StandwithMaxima.com

This documentary is about Máxima Acuña, an illiterate Peruvian farmer who has been standing up to Newmont, one of the largest gold-mining companies in the world.  Maxima claims that she and her family have been victims of human rights violations by this mining company in their continued efforts to seize her legally owned land.

The Yanacocha gold mine is in the Cajamarca region, the poorest province of Peru. Considered to be the fourth largest gold mine in the world.  Yanacocha is owned by Minera Yanacocha S.R.L. (“Yanacocha” or “MYSRL”), which is 51.35% owned by Newmont

The documentary MAXIMA tracks the journey from the Peruvian Andes all the way through the Peruvian Supreme Court to the door of the World Bank in Washington D.C., as Máxima Acuña fights for justice and to protect the land, the water supply and the indigenous people from environmental destruction by Newmont’s planned mine expansion.

How to help:  There is an online fundraising campaign via GoFundMe to raise funds for Máxima’s civil case in Peru – which can take up to ten years – and her living expenses while her case is ongoing.

As portrayed in the film, Máxima’s livelihood has been greatly affected by the land dispute since 2011.  In addition to having mounting legal expenses related to the civil case, her ability to grow crops, raise farm animals and make handmade goods has been compromised.

Your donation will help Máxima cover legal expenses (including travel to court hearings) as well as living expenses while her fight is ongoing. All funds will go directly to Maxima and her family.


Peru bans GM potatoes and biopiracy in the country

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filesThe inhabitants of Cusco, Peru, are notoriously protective of their region’s indigenous flora and fauna. In July 2007, they banned GM potatoes, fearing that they might contaminate the many native varieties that grow there. The Andes, you see, were among the birthplaces of the potato.

Now comes a report that the Cuscovians—if that is the proper term—have outlawed “biopiracy” in their region. Biopiracy generally means something like “the plundering of native species for commercial gain, including patenting resources or the genes they contain,” as the SciDev.Net article puts it. Sounds reasonable.

It is a concept not without its critics, however. A few years ago, scientists working in the Brazilian Amazon complained that biopiracy fears made it impossible for them to ship biological samples out of the country for analysis. And this year a proposed entomological survey of the Western Ghats Mountains in India failed for the same reason.

For a great long form article about biopiracy in Peru, read Viagra Natural, from the now-defunct Legal Affairs.

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