image missingTrue Value Metrics (TVM)
Meaningful Metrics for a Smart Society
image missing Navigation ... HOME
HOME BRIEFS PROBLEMS
POSSIBILITIES
SYSTEM
OVERVIEW
PROGRESS
PERFORMANCE
STATE
CAPITALS
FLOW
ACTIVITIES
FLOW
ACTORS
EFFECTIVE
MANAGEMENT
PETER
BURGESS
SiteNav SitNav (1) SitNav (2) SitNav (3) SitNav (4) SitNav (5) SitNav (6) SitNav (7) SitNav (8)
Date: 2019-12-10 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00003795

Mining
Multinational Misbehavior

Peru: Undermining Justice ... If multinationals will do anything to control the public debate, how can indigenous peoples ever assert their rights?

Burgess COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess

Peru: Undermining Justice If multinationals will do anything to control the public debate, how can indigenous peoples ever assert their rights?

With global demand for natural resources increasing year on year, some of the world's poorest communities are having to fight hard to protect their environment and way of life. When protests and direct action do not work, many will try and get redress through the courts.

But when multinational companies decide that the costs of settling such cases are far less than the huge profits on offer, is justice being undermined?

High up in the Andes of northern Peru, among cloud forests, high moors and fertile lands, lies the town of Huancabamba and the nearby farming community of Segunda y Cajas. Untouched by modern industry, the local population lives almost exclusively through farming, tapping into the rich soils and fresh water sources to put food on the table and sell produce to the lowland cities.

In 2002, this community's way of life, more or less unchanged for hundreds of years, was turned upside down by the arrival of British mining company Monterrico Metals. A mining company based in London, Monterrico had obtained concessions from the Peruvian government to start exploration and development work for the huge open cast copper mine called Rio Blanco - a project meant to run for 20 or more years.

In 2005, local communities marched on the mine site in protest against the company's plans.

According to those who were there, the rally had been envisaged as a peaceful affair but a confrontation with the police took place in which a number of people were injured.

Twenty-eight protesters were detained at the site for three days and, according to activists, were humiliated and tortured by the security forces. Unlikely to get any redress in Peru, the victims sued Monterrico in the UK, with the help of British law firm Leigh Day and Co, alleging that the company had been complicit in the affair.

But though their prospects looked good, the case was settled by Monterrico last year just before it came to trial. It meant the victims did get some compensation - but the wider problems they were fighting to reveal were never aired in open court.

The case is an interesting example of a growing trend. Multinational companies are increasingly likely to respond to legal challenges in this way. The settlement costs can be high but usually they are far less than they would be after a negative verdict. And more importantly it gives the companies - and their lawyers - control of the public debate.

But it begs a disturbing question: If corporations will do anything to avoid going near a court - how can indigenous peoples ever assert their rights?

Filmmaker Michael Watts has been to Peru for People & Power to find out.

Watch more powerful groundbreaking investigative documentaries from People & Power


People and Power
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2012 08:34
The text being discussed is available at
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2012/05/20125311829466420.html

SITE COUNT<
Amazing and shiny stats
Blog Counters Reset to zero January 20, 2015
TrueValueMetrics (TVM) is an Open Source / Open Knowledge initiative. It has been funded by family and friends plus donations from well wishers who understand the importance of accountability and getting the management metrics right. TVM is a 'big idea' that has the potential to be a game changer leveling the playing field so the wealth and power is shared on a more reasonable basis between people who work for a living and those that own the economy and the levers of power. In order to be effective, it cannot be funded in the conventional way with a for profit business plan, but absolutely must remain an open access initiative.
WE WANT TO MAINTAIN AN OPEN KNOWLEDGE MODEL
A MODEST DONATION WILL HELP MAKE THAT HAPPEN


The information on this website may only be used for socio-enviro-economic performance analysis, personal information, education and limited low profit purposes
Copyright © 2005-2019 Peter Burgess. All rights reserved.