Articles

  • The Right of Indigenous Peoples to Prior Consultation

    30 June 2011

    The number of social conflicts in Peru has increased by almost 250 percent over the past five years. The majority of new conflicts in the country are associated with natural resource management and with resource exploitation and infrastructure projects. Tensions are particularly likely when such projects are undertaken without adequate and prior consultation of the indigenous communities which could be affected. The following report by Oxfam and the Due Process of Law Foundation discusses the extent to which Andean countries have fulfilled their obligations to prior consultation with indigenous peoples.

  • Peru's Presidential Elections: A Choice Between 'Cancer and AIDS'?

    01 June 2011

    With the second round of presidential elections on June 5, there is little doubt in our mind (as Peru Support Group) which of the two candidate’s policies would be preferable. While some question marks remain over both Keiko Fujimori and Ollanta Humala, by no means is it – as Mario Vargas Llosa described – a contest of equally disagreeable alternatives, a choice between “cancer and AIDS”. Our assessment would instead come closer to that of the following pithy observer who noted: “over Humala we have doubts, but with Keiko we have proof”.

  • Partner Profile: Amantani UK

    26 May 2011

    The PSG recently teamed up with Amantani UK, a charity with educational projects in Peru, to enter volunteers into a fundraising marathon / half-marathon this summer. In this article Fred Branson, the founder of Amantani UK, explores the concept of ‘ayni’ and its connotations for development work in Peru and beyond.

  • Criminalisation of Social Protest and Extractive Industries

    15 April 2011

    Those engaged in social protest in Peru have repeatedly found themselves targeted by the authorities. Activists and community leaders often face spurious or trumped up charges intended to intimidate and/or to divert their time and resources away from protest activities. Officials are particularly predisposed to such methods when demonstrations are perceived to threaten large investment projects in the country. The following report by CIDSE looks at this issue, outlining the link between the extractive industries and the criminalisation of social protest in Peru and the rest of Latin America.

  • Energy Sector Transparency and the Resource Curse

    04 April 2011

    In this special article for the PSG James Haselip of the Technical University of Denmark and Beatriz Martínez Romera from the University of Copenhagen examine whether expanding industry transparency in Peru’s energy sector will be enough to avoid the 'natural resource curse'.

  • Sign up for the Chasqui Challenge

    01 April 2011

    The Chasqui played a vital role in the Inca Empire, carrying messages across the region by running great distances at great speeds. We are currently looking for volunteers to challenge themselves in a similar way this summer by running (or walking) a half or full marathon to raise funds for the PSG.

  • Your Guide to What is on Offer at April's Elections

    03 February 2011

    Peruvian voters seem to have a strong preference for presidential candidates who only a few years previously they were delighted to see the back of. So it was that Fernando Belaúnde returned in 1980, following his dismal showing as president in the 1960s. Then Alan García was given a second go at being president in 2006, having been roundly condemned as one of Peru’s worst presidents when his first term ended in 1990. Now, it would seem, Alejandro Toledo is staging a come-back, having been one of Latin America’s least popular presidents for most of his previous term (2001-06), with his approval ratings seldom above single-digit level.

  • Undermining Development? EU Trade Policy on Natural Resources

    20 January 2011

    A pending free trade agreement between the European Union and Peru would allow European extractive firms easier access to Peru's natural resources. A recent report by Traidcraft Exchange, Oxfam Germany and partner organisations, questions the extent to which countries like Peru benefit from such agreements.

  • Editorial: The Politics of Tweedledum and Tweedledee

    17 December 2010

    As the date for setting presidential candidacies approaches, the Lima press is absorbed by the composition of the eventual line up. Who will run with whom? What sort of alliances are in the works? How many of the candidacies are simply tactical moves to get on to another’s list? Ultimately, the question we should ask ourselves is how much difference will it all make.

  • Embedded Water

    17 September 2010

    Progressio, Centro Peruano de Estudios Sociales (CEPES) and Water Witness International have produced an interesting report on the ‘embedded water’ or ‘water footprint’ or ‘virtual water’ of importing agricultural produce. They have done it through the exemplar of importing asparagus from Ica, Peru into the UK. The report therefore has particular resonance for those in the UK interested in Peru and who eat Peruvian asparagus! The report is 90 pages long, but the Executive Summary is a very readable four pages.

  • 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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