A protest against the Candente Copper mine in northern Peru. Photo by Peru21.

A protest against the Candente Copper mine in northern Peru. Photo by Peru21.

Despite ongoing protests, Vancouver-based Candente Copper Corp. is seeking to resume exploratory drilling at the Cañariaco Norte copper mine in the district of Cañaris in the Lambayeque region of northern Peru. Many are concerned that the mine will pollute local rivers and streams.

While Candente Copper claims that more than 700 people voted for the mine last July, local authorities state that the community rejected the mine in a referendum in September.

On January 20 of this year, people blocked a road connecting the province of Ferreñafe with the mining camp. On January 22, 400 people protested in Cañaris against the mine. And on January 25, more than 100 police attempted to remove a roadblock set up on a road leading to the mine site. They fired rubber bullets and tear gas, leaving two injured and one dead.

While officials made assurances earlier this week that the company will not pollute local waterways during the exploratory phase of the mine over the next 3-4 years, this thin promise has not weakened the resolve of the community to stop the mine.

The Council of Canadians and the Blue Planet Project stands with the more than 200 communities and civil society organizations in Peru who are demanding an end to mining injustice and calling for water to be recognized as a human right within the Peruvian constitution. In 2009, the Council of Canadians also opposed the Canada-Peru Free Trade Agreement, a deal intended in part to promote more mining in that country.

For more, please read:
UPDATE: Council expresses solidarity with ‘The March for Water’ in Peru, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13554 and http://canadians.org/blog/?p=13495
ACTION ALERT: Canada must halt free trade agreement with Peru

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