Noam Chomsky Among Intellectuals to Slam Peru Mining Project and Government Repression

Telesur, June 6

A letter signed by over 300 intellectuals has urged the Peruvian government to give into the demands of anti-mining protesters.

Hundreds of intellectuals, led by U.S. author Noam Chomsky, have urged Peruvian President Ollanta Humala to end a multinational mining project and the government repression of protests against it, in a letter released Friday by the nongovernmental organization CooperAccion.

“We demand the Tia Maria project is suspended definitively, considering its social, political, economic and environmental unsustainability,” Spanish agency EFE reported the letter said.

The group of writers, artists and academics also expressed their “firm rejection of the declaration of the state of emergency” in the southern province of Islay, where farmers have been fighting the Mexican-American Southern Copper Corporation since mining plans were announced in 2009. Last month, Peru declared a state of emergency in the region after protests escalated, resulting in four deaths and 200 injured.


The signatories note that they are “very concerned about the indiscriminate use of firearms” by the police, and the “unconditional defense of the interests of a foreign private company at the expense of the security and interests of citizens.”

The government has sent in thousands of police and military to quell protests, which activists fear will only lead to more deaths. Local communities have slammed the initiative as damaging the availability of water and therefore limiting the production of rice, sugar cane, and paprika in the valley of the Tambo river.

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