People's verdict ignored

Published: Sunday 30 June 2002

Down with mining. This is the verdict that has been given by the residents of Tambogrande, a northern farming district in Peru. The people rejected a Canadian company's plans to develop a rich mineral deposit that lies beneath this district. Of the 19,996 people who voted, 98.6 per cent said "no" to the project while only 1.4 per cent favoured mining. However, the balloting, organised by the Tambogrande municipal government, was declared illegal by the central government, which said it would not have an impact on the project. Two years back, the Manhattan Minerals Corporation of Vancouver, Canada, showed its inclination to invest some us $300 million in the project. But the proposal met with disapproval from the farming community which in February 2000, ransacked Manhattan's offices in the district. A few months later, an anti-mining activist of the region was ambushed and killed.

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