Since the early 1990s, Peru's extractive industry has grown exponentially. By the end of 2013, Peru was the world's second largest producer of silver and copper and the fifth largest producer of gold. Mining licences have been awarded for vast parts of the national territory. As of December 2013, mining concessions in the Cajamarca region accounted for 45.2% of the territory and in the Cusco region for 21.6%. The areas included in these concessions are home, to a large extent, to a rural population including campesinos of indigenous origin, which relies on subsistence farming. Local communities have denounced the lack of consultation on mining projects, irregularities in the appropriation and transfer of communal land, as well as the dramatic consequences of mining on the environment, the local flora and fauna, the health and livelihood of local communities and on their traditional way of living. Rivers have been polluted, water courses have dried up, communities have been displaced. They also denounce that the rural population received little, if any, economic benefit; despite the presence of mining activities in Cajamarca for the last 20 years, 51.9% of the population lives in poverty, the highest poverty rate in the country.
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Categories: Human Rights Defenders