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You are here: Home / CINEMA FOR PEACE AWARD HONOREE BEATEN AND ARRESTED

CINEMA FOR PEACE AWARD HONOREE BEATEN AND ARRESTED

Father Marco Arana of Peru, a human rights defender who was honored by Cinema for Peace in 2011, was beaten up and arrested by police officers while sitting peacefully on a bench in the Cajamarca's main square on July 4th, 2012.
CINEMA FOR PEACE AWARD HONOREE BEATEN AND ARRESTED

Father Marco Arana

 

Videos and photos taken on the scene show the police forcing Father Marco to the ground and dragging him off by the neck. He was then taken to the central police station where he was again beaten and refused communication with his lawyer.

Marco was released on the following day, under investigation for inducting criminal offense and not respecting the state of emergency in Cajamarca.

Marco and other regional leaders have declared an indefinite state-wide strike against the ‘Minas Congas' gold mining-project, which would destroy four sacred lakes in the province of Celendin. ‘Minas Congas' is a massive expansion project operated by Yanacocha, South America's largest gold mine, located in Cajamarca province. Yanacocha is owned by Newmont of Colorado and Peru's Buenaventura with minority shares held by the World Bank.

The government of Peru declared a state of emergency in the region, suspending civil liberties, after 3 protesters were killed and at least 20 people wounded during a violent encounter with the police. It was the second emergency declared in five weeks to suppress anti-mining protests. A 30-day emergency had just failed in Espinar, where two people were killed May 29th while protesting against a copper mine.

In 2004, Father Marco was awarded Peru's most prestigious human rights award and in 2009 he was declared an 'Environmental Hero' by TIME magazine. Marco's defence of farming and indigenous communities has also earned him powerful enemies, but he continues very active in his struggle for human rights and justice in Peru and has gain worldwide support.

An online letter to the President of the Republic of Peru, Mr. Ollanta Humala, asking for the ending of violence and the stopping of the ‘Minas Congas’ project has reached over 35,000 signatures.

The Cinema for Peace Foundation supports the struggle for justice and human rights in Peru by raising awareness on the issue through its networks.

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