Accepted Paper:

Women in mobilisations against the Conga gold mining project: the defence of water in the Peruvian highlands of Cajamarca  

Author:

Jihyun Seo (University of Liverpool)

Paper Short Abstract:

This paper examines mobilisations against the Conga project in the Peruvian northern department of Cajamarca since 2011 and places a special focus on the role of women in defence of water, environment and life.

Paper long abstract:

In Peru mining has been one of the engines behind the country's economic growth since the 1990s. Simultaneously, it has also become one of the sectors that have generated the most conflict as numerous local communities have started protesting against mineral extraction across the country. The Yanacocha Mining Company (MYSA) has become an outstanding example of this 'new mining boom' in Peru, starting its mining activities in 1992 in the northern department of Cajamarca. In 2004, there was a massive mobilisation against one of the company's projects in the Quilish mountain (Cerro Quilish) and consequently the extraction plan came to a halt. After 2011 the local population mobilised against the MYSA's new gold mining project, Conga. The project plans to exploit two mineral deposits in three districts of the department: Huasmín, Sorochuco (the province of Celendín) and La Encañada (the province of Cajamarca). One of the main concerns for the local population is that the Conga project will wreck an irrevocable havoc on the region's environment, particularly the quality and quantity of water available. Over nearly two years, opponents of the project have mobilised in defence of water, environment and life. The conflict has gained a lot of national and international attention and solidarity, particularly in relation to the government's authoritarian and violent response to the local population. This paper examines mobilisations against the Conga project and places a particular focus on the role of women in defence of water.

Panel P15
Gender and extractive industries in Latin America