Huaroc: Handling Of Minas Conga A Lesson On What Not To Do

Vladimiro Huaroc, Peru’s new head of the government’s conflict resolution office,  said Tuesday that the handling of the Minas Conga gold project in Cajamarca is a lesson on what not to do.

Huaroc, an anthropologist and former president of Peru’s central Junin region, as well as a leading figure among the country’s regional presidents, replaced Victor Caballero as the head of the Office of Social Conflict Management, which reports to the Cabinet.

Caballero, and former prime minister Oscar Valdes, had failed to end an ongoing struggle over the development of Minas Conga in the Andean highlands of Cajamarca. The dispute has pitched the central government and the company developing the project, Minera Yanacocha, that want Minas Conga to go forward, against Cajamarca’s regional government and environmental activists that are calling for the project’s cancellation.

Valdes was succeeded by lawyer Juan Jimenez, the former Justice minister, as President Ollanta Humala’s chief of cabinet. Jimenez, who appointed Huaroc after taking office, has promised more dialogue to resolve the conflict, which led to five deaths during recent protests.

On Tuesday, Huaroc was presented as Peru’s new social conflict chief. During a press conference, Huaroc said that “Conga is a lesson on what we shouldn’t do,” daily Peru. 21 reported.

He added that the government will not commit the same mistakes and that it will seek a “definitive solution,” the newspaper said. 

Next week, Archbishop Cabrejos of Trujillo and Gastón Garatea, a priest with broad experience in conflict resolution, will be in Cajamarca for their third session of meetings with regional president Gregorio Santos and other local authorities to continue their negotiations on the Minas Conga issue.

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