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Tuesday, October 25

More on digging for gold in the Andes

New York Times Tangled Strands in Fight Over Peru Gold Mine : "Yanacocha is Newmont's prize possession, the most productive gold mine in the world. But if history holds one lesson, it is that where there is gold, there is conflict, and the more gold, the more conflict." This article is part of a bigger series on gold mining around the world and the backlash from communities. Also see the PBS feature that I mentioned in previous blog entries.

Friday, October 21

Peru Blogs and Travel Journals

TravelBlog - Free Inspiratoin is full of first-hand accounts (written and photographed) of visits to Peru, all parts of Peru, by all means of travel. To Darkest Peru is the first journal that I chanced across and it grabbed my attention and then I found scores more. This services seems really ingenious and useful for anyone thinkjingt of traveling to Peru.

Digging for truth in the Andes

Frontline/World - - The Curse of Inca Gold:

Frontline/World and New York Times reporter Lowell Bergman travels to the peaks of the Peruvian Andes to uncover the story of a secret battle for Yanacocha, the world's richest gold mine. With undercover tapes and inside sources, Bergman reveals high-level political intrigue and attempts to influence Peru's supreme court to rule in favor of an American Company. The program investigates Newmont Mining of Denver, Colorado, the company that won control of the Peruvian mine and has since become the world's most profitable gold mining company with operations in Indonesia, Ghana, and Uzbekhistan. Newmont publicly pledges that it operates using U.S. environmental and ethical standards overseas even in countries where corruption is the norm, but insiders say that just has not been true. Bergman meets the crusading priest who leads local campesinos who have opposed expansion of the mine after a toxic mercury spill by Newmont led to health problems in their community.

This hour-long feature will be appearing on PBS stations. The date and time may vary. WETA will be showing it on October 25 at 9:00 pm. It may eventually be available online.

Monday, October 10

Another pre-Colombian historical site threatened by progress

Santo Domingo Rock Art Endangered: A Peruvian Treasure Needs Support: "The archaeological evidence in this valley indicates human ritual activity from the Lithic Period to the Intermedio Tardio Period (10,000 B.C - 1400 A.D.)and includes huacas, shelters, platforms, canals, ceremonial paths (one very long one of 10 meters wide), as well as many stone flake and tool workshops. Most impressive and most fragile is a dense distribution of geoglyphs dating from 5000 B.C to 600 A.D. depicting zoomorphs, anthropomorphs, hunting scenes and complex spirals." Melissa Massat wrote me a few days ago after chancing across this blog. She pointed me towards here pet project -- the rock art of Santo Dominga near Trujillo. Although the site had been off the beaten track, the Chavimochic Irrigation project has opened up the zone to urban penetration, bulldozers, truck traffic and other damage.

You can see pictures of this archaeologoical site at the website set up to provide more information on the problem: Save Santo Domingo, Peru.

The tough life of a Trush Commission member

Human Rights Watch: President of Truth Commission Receives Death Threats: "Over the last few weeks, Lerner, whose father was Jewish, has also received insulting and crudely anti-Semitic e-mails that accuse him of attacking the Peruvian armed forces. Other members of the commission have also received insulting messages. Most have been sent by a writer calling himself ?Pachacútec,? which was the name of an Inca emperor." In addition, commission members are being sued by military officers who say they were the target of baseless accusations.

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