Articles

  • Cabinet patching: four ministers down, but how many more reshuffles to go?

    22 February 2015

    Partial cabinet reshuffle, four ministers sacked . . . . Hardly an attention-grabbing headline for an administration now famous for announcing cabinet changes every few months. Pressure on the government had been building up ever since the repeal of the so-called ‘Ley Pulpí. But the latest appointments, announced on February 9, provide the Humala government with much-needed respite.

  • Civil society slams World Bank environmental standards revision

    22 February 2015

    Since July 2014, the World Bank has been engaged in consultations over its draft document revising the environmental safeguards it builds into World-Bank-funded projects. Early in February Cusco and then Lima were the sites of the latest consultation (February 2 and 4). The Lima meeting ended prematurely with a mass walk-out by most of the civil society organisations participating, and a letter to the Bank signed by 195 civil society groups and individuals.

  • Heavy metal poisoning threatens health in Espinar: timid steps to toward an Action Plan?

    15 February 2015

    “The richest young boy in Peru.” This was how the La República newspaper ironically introduced its readers to Yedamel López Champi, one of the 38 children in a small Espinar community close to Tintaya, the large copper and gold mine in Cuzco. The children, and the whole community, are affected by the presence of heavy metals in their bodies.

  • Political void on the left

    14 February 2015

    With little over a year until the next presidential elections, the Peruvian public seems very dissatisfied with the current crop of likely candidates. A poll carried out last week showed 49% did not want to vote for any of the candidates now in the running.

  • Breakthrough in long-running Amazon conflict?

    9 February 2015

    Peru’s Minister for Energy and Mines last week finally announced agreement on some of the key demands of the indigenous leaders in the valleys of the Corrientes, Tigre, Pastaza and Marañón rivers in Peru’s northern Amazon. This follows more than 40 years of contamination and neglect, and almost three years of negotiations between the state and the representatives from more than 100 communities and some 20,000 indigenous people.

  • Small-scale gold mining: a continuing threat to health and the environment

    2 February 2015

    The gold price has been falling in the last few days – but at over $1,260 an ounce it is still way above its 2000 level of $250. The incentive remains for poor people to continue seeking a living by exploiting gold. But as two recently published reports show, all too often this usually has disastrous impacts on human health (threatened by mercury poisoning), as well as on the environment and biodiversity.

  • Humala's humiliation

    2 February 2015

    The repeal of the Youth Employment Law constitutes a major, if not irreparable, political reverse for Humala who still has 18 months as president

  • Labour protest march ends in violence

    18 Jan 2015

    The fourth march through the streets of Lima on January 15 to protest against the Humala government’s legislation to liberalise employment laws ended in violence.The new law aims to give employers incentives to take on youngsters (aged between 18 and 24), but without the same contractual rights as ordinary employees.

  • Extractives, human rights and the environment - straws in the wind?

    09 January 2015

    The last month has produced a number of somewhat positive results in regard to Peru’s approach to the environment and extractives-related issues.However, the PSG cannot but feel that these events are more than just straws in the wind.

  • Second round regional elections: reading the runes

    10 Dec 2014

    Trying to draw conclusions from the results of second round elections for regional presidencies in 14 out of 25 regions presents difficulties.

  • Historical Overview

    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

  • Society and Conflict

    Peru’s indigenous and peasant communities continue to suffer political marginalisation and discrimination. Insufficient consultation with such groups over political and developmental decisions has fostered feelings of disenfranchisement and led to elevated levels of social conflict.

  • PSG MineWatch

    There are numerous social conflicts related to extractive concessions operated by British firms in Peru. This PSG database shows which firms and which projects have proved the most contentious this month.

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