Máxima Acuña received a death threat over the telephone on 30 January and has been repeatedly harassed by police. She is in an ongoing legal dispute against a mining company over the ownership of a plot of land where she and her family live in northern Peru. They are at constant risk of forced eviction, attacks and threats from police.
URGENT ACTION BY AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANISATION, RELEASED TODAY, 5TH FEBRUARY 2014, APPEALING TO THE PERUVIAN AUTHORITIES TO RESPECT THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE CHAUPE FAMILY
Máxima Acuña and her family, who are subsistence farmers, are in a dispute with mining company Yanacocha over the ownership of the plot of land where they live in Tragadero Grande, Sorochuco district, Cajamarca region. Both Yanacocha and Máxima Acuña’s family claim to own the land. In July 2013 a court annulled a 2012 ruling which found the family guilty of illegal occupation of the land following a case brought on by the company. The judge found that the first ruling presented a series of irregularities, including the failure to consider evidence presented by Máxima Acuña’s family, such as their land purchase documentation. The judge ordered a new trial. The next hearing is due to take place in March.
As the family awaits the outcome of the new trial, they have reported being repeatedly threatened and harassed by police. On 30 January Máxima Acuña received a telephone call from a male voice who told her “get out of the property or you’ll die” (sal de tu propiedad, si no vas a morir). Shortly after the call two police officers approached her and told her to stop farming the land as it was not hers. After she and her daughter returned home, they stated that two police, one of whom was armed, entered the house and told them to stop farming and to leave the land immediately. The police left after Máxima Acuña made a few telephone calls to ask for help, but they came back to her property on 4 February to intimidate her again. Over the past few years the Acuña family have reported repeated harassment and attacks from police, who they state are attempting to drive them away.
Please write immediately in Spanish or your own language:
- Reminding the authorities that the police must protect Máxima Acuña and her family from violence and intimidation and must respect their human rights at all times, whatever the outcome of the land dispute;
- Urging them to ensure that Máxima Acuña and her family are kept safe and are not forcibly evicted, and order a thorough and impartial investigation into the attacks and harassment and bring those responsible to justice;
- Calling on them to make all efforts to find an acceptable solution to this dispute, taking into account the vulnerability of the family and the need to protect them from destitution;
- Reminding them that any eviction should only be carried out after all international legal and procedural safeguards have been applied, including genuine consultation, adequate notice, serious consideration of all feasible alternatives to evictions and ensuring that nobody is left homeless or vulnerable to other human rights violation as a result of the eviction.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 18 MARCH 2015 TO:
Head of Police
Gral. Jorge Flores Goicochea
Director General de la PNP
Av. Canaval y Moreyra cdra. 6-Plaza 30 de agosto
San Isidro, Lima, Perú
Fax: 011 511 225 40 16
Minister of the Interior
Gral. EP (r) Daniel Belizario Urresti Elera
Ministerio del Interior
Plaza 30 de Agosto s/n Urb. Corpac
San Isidro, Lima, Perú
Email: [email protected],
Fax: 011 51 1 225 9920
And copies to:
Human Rights organization
Jr. José Galvez 430–A
Barrio San Pedro
E-mail: [email protected]
Also send copies to:
Ambassador HE Harold Forsyth, Embassy of Peru
1700 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036
Fax: 202 659 8124 I Phone: 202 833 9860 I Email: [email protected] (Assistant Ms. Sara Barboza)
Further information: http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR46/004/2013/en