Peru: human rights defender Máxima Acuña at risk
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.
As of March 31, 2016, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) holds 1,531,000 shares in Newmont Mining Inc. The CPPIB recently told Amnesty International that its Sustainable Investing Team shares our concerns about human rights in the extractives sector and has a number of processes to assess their investments for environmental, social and governance factors.
Please write to CPPIB CEO Mark Wiseman:
- Tell him you are concerned for the safety of human rights defender Máxima Acuña who has been threatened and beaten up for her work to protect four lagoons from the development of Newmont’s proposed Conga mine
- Tell him that you are aware that the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board is committed encouraging industry to adopt best practices, policies and training related to the environment and human rights.
- Alert him to concerns about the actions allegedly taken by Newmont’s Peruvian subsidiary, Yanacocha, against Maxima and her family. Include examples from our Urgent Action.
- Ask him to seek assurances from Newmont and the Peruvian government that human rights defenders like Maxima will be allowed to carry out their legitimate and necessary work without fear of reprisals or criminalisation. Newmont has a responsibility to respect human rights and must carry out due diligence to ensure their operations don’t cause or contribute to human rights abuses. Peru is obligated under international human rights laws to protect the human rights of its citizens.
Mark Wiseman, (Chief Investment Officer)
CPP Investment Board
1 Queen Street East Suite 2500
Toronto, ON M5C 2W5