CORRECTION – see comments: Due to my mediocre Spanish I earlier stated mistakenly that the mayor of Acomayo granted mining concessions, it was in fact the government, and local authorities are protesting the developments. My apologies to the mayor of Acomayo.
Original post, corrected:
I just read here that the Peruvian government has granted significant concessions in the Acomayo area to the mining industry without proper consultations with the people of Acomayo.
Allow me to be perfectly selfish here: Acomayo is not too far from Accha, and if you mess with Accha, you’re messing with me. If this causes any trouble for Mama Vicky in Accha, I might just have to get involved in the opposition movement…
Sarcasm aside, I once read a column in “El Comercio” that said “Peru is a poor country because Peruvians act like poor people.” Peruvian authorities are typically eager to sell the country’s natural resources out for what they believe is a big sum of money. However, if the financial crisis proves anything, it’s that money is just funny printed paper. You can’t eat it, dance with it or teach it to sit and wag its tail.
Now mining is a necessary and honorable industry. Without it we would not have roads, infrastructure, hospitals, etc. But if Peru wants to improve its economy beyond the business districts of Lima, business and political leaders need to focus on applying the country’s fantastic human and natural resources to improve the quality of life for all Peruvians, instead of just looking for big payments of foreign cash.
NB: a good site for news about the impact of mining on Peruvian communities is Conacami Perú: Confederación Nacional de Comunidades del Perú Afectadas por la Minería
NB: I didn’t keep the column I referred to above, it was printed in El Comercio around the signing of the Hunt Oil project. If anyone happens to come across it, please let me know.