The Goldman foundation did not contact us before awarding Máxima Acuña the Goldman Price
The company declares that behind the protests of the family of MáximaAcuñade Chaupe, there is the intention to oppose to all mining operations in Cajamarca and all of Peru.
The general manager of Yanacocha, Javier Velarde, says that the Goldman Foundation did not contact them to give their version about the Conga conflict, before they decided to award the Goldman price to Máxima Acuña.
“We would have been glad if the Goldman foundation would have asked us information about the conflict, knowing that this conflict involves the company, but we were never contacted by the foundation” tells Javier in an interview with the program La Hora N.
Velarde says that the foundation “has the right to award the price to who they consider convenient”, but we believe he considered that “the public opinion deserves to have complete information”.
On the other hand, he declares that behind the protests of the family of Máxima Acuña de Chaupe, there is the intention to oppose to all mining operations in Cajamarca and all of Peru.
“It is evident who are the defenders, lawyers or sponsors of Mrs. MáximaAcuña, it is the NGO Grufides of Mr. Marco Arana. Here they are using a landowner conflict to try to paralize a mining project by bringing a company in discredit” he completes.
As you are aware, the campesina Máxima Acuña of Cajamarca, known by her struggle against the Conga project of the transnational mining company Yanacocha, was recently awarded with the environmental Goldman price.
On the ceremony in San Francisco, in the present of leaders of all over the world, the Peruvian was represented as a woman capable of standing up to a powerful company in a litigation that she ended up winning at the end of 2014.
“I am the owner of the land named ‘Las Posadas’ in front of the Blue Lake. But suddenly Yanacocha arrives telling that I sold the land and that is a lie” explains Máxima to LaMula.pe in 2013.
The mining company announced this as an alleged crime of usurpation of lands , but in the end of 2014, during a battle like the one of David against Goliath, the campesina of Cajamarca won the battle in court and was declared innocent. Until last February, Acuña still reported being prosecuted and harassed. The last issues that happened were the destruction of her field of potatoes, wounding her dog and threatening her son.