The General Confederation of Workers (CGTP) in Peru is marching today in solidarity with the anti-mining movement in Cajamarca. The CGTP has called a “national day of struggle” and is demanding the removal of Prime Minister Oscar Valdés.
Mario Huamán, secretary general of the CGTP, has said marches will take place in the capital, Lima as well as in ten other locations across the north and south of Peru.
“We will not be striking,” Huamán said. “This is a set of activities by teachers unions, construction workers, rural workers, young people women and leftist organisations.”
He added that the marches were in solidarity with “the struggles of the people of Cajamarca in rejecting the Congo mining project planned by the Newmont company from the United States.”
The march coincides with the second day of demonstrations taking place in Cajarmarca organised by the Frente de Defense. The North Andean region and its people will suffer from the project, according to the group.
Earlier this month Cajamarca was declared under a state of emergency following a police crackdown in which five people died and 21 people were injured.
“Valdés is to blame for all the social upheaval happening in the country. It is due to the repressive policies he has applied in order to bring economic benefits to the hands of a privileged few,” Haumán said.
The union will also ask Peruvian president Ollanta Humala to “find solutions to the unresolved issues; layoffs, rising costs of living and public safety.”
Yesterday, Humala announced his intention to set up a working group with representatives opposed to the mine in Cajamarca. The group will be mediated by two religious representatives from the Catholic Church, Bishop Miguel Cabrejos and Father Gastón Garatea.This announcement follows a meeting held by Humala with two groups protesting the mine.
Protests began in 2011 against the North American mining company, Newmont, which plans to dry four lakes in the high regions of Cajamarca to extract copper and gold. Last May, Cajamarcans declared a protest with no defined end point.