This report presents the findings of the Yanacocha Independent Fact Finding Mission (the “Mission”), conducted between August 2015 and March 2016. The Mission was tasked with examining a conflict between a multinational gold mining company and a local campesino family, in the high Andes of northern Peru. At the root of the conflict is a dispute over a parcel of land called “Tragadero Grande”. Located within the Campesino Community of Sorochuco, Tragadero Grande falls within the footprint of a planned multi-billion dollar mining project called “Conga”. Both the family and the company claim distinct rights to access and use the parcel of land. From May 2011, the land dispute evolved into a multi-party conflict involving eviction attempts, corporate defense of possession, numerous legal cases and appeals, and allegations of human rights violations.
The primary parties in the conflict are the Chaupe family and Minera Yanacocha. Newmont Mining Corporation (“Newmont”) is the majority shareholder of Minera Yanacocha and operator of the Yanacocha mine. Buenaventura, Peru’s largest publicly-traded mining company, is the other major shareholder and The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (“IFC”) owns a minority share. Other parties involved in the conflict include a Cajamarca non-government organization (“NGO”) GRUFIDES, as advocates for the Chaupe family, Minera Yanacocha’s private security provider, SECURITAS, and government institutions, including the Peru National Police (“Police”) and the judiciary. Minas Conga is a significant other party as the corporate entity that purchased Tragadero Grande from the Campesino Community of Sorochuco in the mid-1990s. Minera Yanacocha acquired Minas Conga in 2001, and with it Tragadero Grande. Minas Conga no longer exists as a corporate entity.
Newmont initiated the Mission in response to persistent allegations by the family and local, national and international NGOs that Minera Yanacocha had been involved in perpetrating human rights violations as part of the land dispute. Linked to these allegations, questions have been raised about Minera Yanacocha’s adherence to international human rights standards to which Newmont subscribes. An independent Director was appointed to conduct the Mission under the auspices of RESOLVE, a non-profit organization dedicated to multi-stakeholder consensus building. Newmont financed the Mission’s activities with all project funds being transferred to RESOLVE.
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RESOLVE builds strong, enduring solutions to environmental, social, and health challenges. We help community, business, government, and NGO leaders get results and create lasting relationships through collaboration. RESOLVE is an independent non-profit organization with a thirty-eight year track record of success.