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Peru

    September 13, 2017

    The Peruvian government is neglecting the health of hundreds of Indigenous people whose only sources of water are contaminated by toxic metals and who lack access to adequate health care, Amnesty International said in a new investigation published today.

    A Toxic State reveals how the Peruvian government has failed to provide adequate healthcare for Indigenous communities in Cuninico and Espinar, in the country’s Amazonian and Andean regions, respectively. Studies found that their only sources of fresh water were contaminated with toxic metals harmful to human health.

    “For decades, Indigenous Peoples across Peru have been treated like second class citizens,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General at Amnesty International.

    “The fact that the Peruvian authorities choose to do very little in the face of evidence that hundreds of Indigenous people have been exposed to toxic metals is not only cruel, but a violation of their right to health.”

    May 04, 2017

    Tweet

    In a landmark decision for environmental defenders in Peru, a Supreme Court ruling on 3 May 2017 marked an end of the trial for land invasion against human rights defender Máxima Acuña Atalaya.

    #MaximaAcuna has prevailed in her struggle against criminalization! https://t.co/WaiaKEc6N7

    — Alex Neve (@AlexNeveAmnesty) May 4, 2017

    What happened?

    In August 2011, peasant farmer and human rights defender, Máxima Acuña Atalaya, and members of her family were accused of land invasion.

    After almost five years of proceedings in relation to the unfounded criminal charges of land invasion, the Supreme Court of Justice has ruled that there was no reason to pursue the groundless trial of Máxima.

    May 03, 2017

    The ruling of the Supreme Court of Peru marking the end of the trial for land invasion against the human rights defender Máxima Acuña Atalaya is a landmark decision for environmental defenders in the country, Amnesty International said today.

    After almost five years of proceedings in relation to unfounded criminal charges of land invasion, the Supreme Court of Justice ruled that there was no reason to pursue the groundless trial of the defender for land invasion.

    “Many environmental defenders in Peru have been criminalized through the use of groundless criminal proceedings which seek to prevent them from carrying out their legitimate work to defend human rights, by exhausting their physical and emotional strength and their limited resources, in addition to publicly portraying them as criminals,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International.

    It is fundamental that the authorities take effective measures to stop the use of the criminal justice system to intimidate and harass human rights defenders.”

    April 12, 2017

    The decision of the Peruvian Supreme Court to postpone the ruling on the case against human rights defender Máxima Acuña is the latest attempt by the authorities to obstruct her legitimate work to defend the environment, said Amnesty International.

    The Peruvian Supreme Court was due to issue a decision today on the spurious charges of land invasion against Máxima Acuña Atalaya. The ruling was postponed until 3 May after the tribunal informed that some of the judges had not had enough time to reach a decision.

    “The case against Máxima is a cowardly attempt by the authorities in Peru to stop her activism to defend human rights and the environment and send a message to other activists,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas Director at Amnesty International

    “Effectively forcing her to travel all the way to Lima at her own expense just to be told that the hearing was postponed looks like yet another trick to continue to punish her and her family.”

    “Instead of continuing to harass Máxima and her family with baseless accusations, authorities in Peru must ensure human rights defenders can carry out their work without fear of reprisals.”

    March 15, 2017

    Máxima Acuña has a huge fight ahead of her to ensure that the four lagoons near her community are protected from mining contamination. US mining giant Newmont, and its Peruvian partner, Buenaventura, want to use those lagoons for their proposed Conga mine. Currently, development of the mine is on hold because of fierce community opposition. But the companies, through their subsidiary Yanacocha, aren’t giving up.

    This December, Amnesty members around the world took action for Máxima Acuña and her family in a campaign called, “Maxima is Not Alone” which called on Peru’s Minister of the Interior to protect Máxima and her family from years of abuse. 

    Máxima had this message for Amnesty members: “Thank you to everyone around the world who has stood by my side, worried about the risks I face. I ask that you help me find justice so that I can live in peace and tranquility”. 

    Another way Amnesty members can take action is to call on Canadian investors to use their economic clout to support the important and necessary work of human rights defenders like Máxima. 

    February 22, 2017

    Last week, Amnesty International's director for the Americas, Erika Guevara Rosas delivered more than 150,000 solidarity messages to support Peruvian land defender Máxima Acuña. 

    Activists from Canada, the United Kingdom, Norway, France, Taiwan, Chile, New Zealand, Italy and Peru, among others, wrote to the Peruvian government as part of the global 'Write for Rights' campaign to protect Máxima Acuña and her family from threats of assault and intimidation.

    The Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Marisol Pérez Tello was present to receive the 150 thousand signatures and messages that Amnesty International collected in solidarity to tell the Peruvian government that 'Máxima is not alone'.

    February 15, 2017

    Download a PDF of the most recent update to UA 44/17

    44a Peru.pdf 44a Peru.pdf

     

    December 07, 2016
    Peruvian water and land defender Máxima Acuña is one of 10 individuals and communities we're taking action for during Write for Rights on Saturday, December 10th, International Human Rights Day. Join Write for Rights to stand with Máxima! 

    Máxima Acuña is a water and land defender in Peru. She has survived years of harassment, intimidation and vicious beatings by police and mining company security personnel over her right to defend the environment and her home from a massive gold and copper mine.

    Her property shares a watershed with 4 lagoons that, if the company gets its way, would be drained and turned into tailings ponds. She has been forced into court to defend her family’s property rights to the land where they live and grow crops –and she has won. In September, she was beaten severely. It is staggering to comprehend the level of violence she has endured to defend her rights. 

    October 14, 2016

    Máxima Acuña is not giving in to the bullying by a big mining company that wants her land. © Raúl García Pereira / Amnistía Internacional

    DOWNLOAD PDF HERE.

     

    Máxima Acuña is a farmer in northern Peru. [Say her name like this: MAXima aKUNia] 

    Máxima lives with her family on land that a big mining company wants. 

    Máxima Acuña has a right to stay on her land. She needs the land for growing crops to feed her family. The mining company wants Máxima’s land so they can take copper and gold from it to sell. 

    The mining company asked police to attack her home to try and make her leave. The latest attack on 18 September 2016 was so bad that Máxima had to be rushed to a hospital. 
    In other attacks, police have even beaten her children. They damaged her home and took beds, clothes, cooking pots and food. Once, armed security guards working for the company destroyed the family’s crops. 

    May 26, 2015

    Planned protests against a copper mining project in southern Peru must be allowed to go ahead peacefully and without police repression, said Amnesty International, amid fears of a recurrence of the fatal violence that marred protests in recent weeks.

    Four people – including one police officer – have been killed and hundreds injured since late April during protests against the planned Tía María copper mining project. The Peruvian authorities imposed a state of emergency in the region following the latest killing on 22 May, and the army has now been deployed to the area.

    “The world is watching the Peruvian government this week. With more protests planned for the coming days, authorities must do all in their power to allow people to voice their concerns peacefully, without fear of injury or worse,” said Guadalupe Marengo, Deputy Director Americas, Amnesty International.

    May 06, 2015

    The Peruvian authorities must promptly ensure thorough, independent and impartial investigations into the deaths of two men in the past two weeks amid the policing of anti-mining protests in the south of the country, Amnesty International said.

    In the most recent case, Henry Checlla Chura, 35, was killed early on 5 May when police allegedly opened fire against protesters blocking a highway in the Alto Inclán area of Mollendo. Clashes left scores of protesters and police officers injured.

    His death follows clashes with police in nearby Cocachacra on 22 April which resulted in the fatal shooting of 61-year-old Victoriano Huayna Nina and injuries to 13 others, including two police officers.

    “That two people have now been killed amid the social unrest in southern Peru raises red flags over the policing of these ongoing protests. Their killings must spark prompt, independent and impartial investigations, and any police officer suspected of having committed a crime must be brought to trial,” said Guadalupe Marengo, Deputy Americas Programme Director at Amnesty International.

    June 05, 2014

    The Peruvian authorities must ensure that all those suspected of criminal responsibility in the tragic events in Bagua are brought to justice, said Amnesty International today on the fifth anniversary of the violence which left 33 people dead.

    Demonstrators and police were killed when police clashed with Indigenous People protesting against a series of laws allowing for the exploitation of natural resources on ancestral land in 2009.

    During the violence 23 officers lost their lives along with 10 civilians. Hundreds more were injured. So far only protesters have been brought to trial.

    “If the Peruvian authorities are truly committed to bringing to justice those suspected of criminal responsibility for these deaths, it is not enough to punish the protesters and ignore possible abuses by the police,” said Guadalupe Marengo, Amnesty International’s Americas Deputy Programme Director.

    Violence broke out on 5 June 2009 when police moved in to break up a roadblock on a stretch of road known as the Curva del Diablo near Bagua in the Amazonas department, Peru.

    Free screening of the film DAUGHTER OF THE LAKE.



    At the height of the Peruvian gold rush, Nelida, an Andean woman able to communicate with water spirits, uses her powers to prevent a mining corporation from destroying the body of water she considers her mother.

    A gold deposit valued at billions of dollars lies just beneath Nelida’s lakes and leads farmers and Latin America’s biggest gold producer into conflict.

    Panel discussion to follow, speakers to be announced. Presented by Amnesty International.

    JUST ANNOUNCED: AI Canada Secretary General Alex Neve will be joining the panel!

     

     

    Join us for the Karuara tour, organized in support of Kukama Indigenous activists who are protecting their rivers and culture in Peru’s northern Amazon region from extractive and exploitative industries. “Karuara” means people of the river in the Kukama language, and refers to the sacred guardians of the Amazon’s waterways.



    Mari Luz Canaquiri Murayari, president of the Kukama Women’s Federation, will be traveling across the province during October with filmmakers Miguel Araoz and Stephanie Boyd. For the past 20 years Mari Luz has been protecting rivers in the Amazon from oil exploration, dredging, and other mega-projects such as hydroelectric dams. The trio will present their short film Parana-The River, which highlights Mari Luz’s tireless work to defend the Marañon River and her culture. They will also present a book of traditional Kukama stories, illustrated by children and entitled Karuara, People of the River (2016). 



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