Three years ago, thousands of farmers in northern Peru rejected the Rio Blanco mining project in a local referendum. Surrounded by cloud forests, moors and fertile valleys, they want a future for organic agriculture and exporting.
Engaging themselves in the municipal and regional elections in October this year, and the presidential elections in 2011, social organisations and peasant communities of four provinces (Jaén, San Ignacio, Ayabaca, Huancabamba) demand the creation of "no-go zones for mining".
These four provinces are located in an environment of extraordinary biological diversity and vital importance. The cloud forests and moors are ecosystems responsible for the water collection of the Piura region, and they feed the Amazon basin to the east.
This important natural environment and its population are threatened by Monterrico Metals' Rio Blanco mining project, a British project in hands of the Chinese company Zijin. The threat is not limited to this area alone; 25% of the territory of the four provinces has already been given in concessions to other mining projects, possibly resulting in a mining district.