Case: Maxima Acuña-Atalaya v. Newmont Mining
A family’s struggle against one of the world’s biggest mining companies.
The Chaupe family, including Goldman Environmental Prize Winner Máxima Acuña-Atalaya de Chaupe, are subsistence farmers who reside in the rural highlands of Cajamarca, Peru. They obtained the right to a plot of land known as Tragadero Grande in 1994, and have cultivated crops and raised livestock there for many years. Since 2011, when Newmont’s Board of Directors approved Conga, a controversial US$4.8 billion mining project, Newmont’s agents (including public and private security forces) have used harassment and violence to try to evict the family from their farm. The Chaupes allege that they have been physically attacked and threatened, and that Newmont’s agents have destroyed their property and possessions, and killed or attacked their pets and livestock. They allege that Newmont has the power to cease these abuses but has declined to do so because the Chaupes stand in the way of Newmont’s plans to construct the Conga mine.