Social conflict remains a serious problem in Peru. In May 2013 the Human Rights Ombudsman (Defensoría del Pueblo) reported a total of 225 conflicts in the country, of which 172 are active. The causes of such disputes are numerous and include territorial conflicts, labour disputes and protests over actions of authorities at both the local and national levels. The bulk of the conflicts however, relate to socio-environmental concerns. The majority of these, in turn, relate to the extractive (mining, oil and gas) industries.
Firms with significant British capital or listed on London’s Stock Exchange or Alternative Investment Market account for approximately half the foreign direct investment in Peru’s mining sector. In some cases, projects operated by these companies have been at the root of conflicts with local communities in Peru. In many others however, projects are being carried out without resulting in disputes with nearby residents.
In order to establish which companies have the most problematic concessions we have cross referenced a list of British firms with the Ombudsman’s report on social conflict. Our research indicates that 40 per cent of these companies currently operate projects which have resulted in disputes with local groups. The largest number of conflicts currently relate to the activities of Xstrata, an Anglo-Swiss firm, and BHP Billiton, an Anglo-Australian company. The full list of firms and conflicts is available via the link below.
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