Today, the population of Islay in Peru are on the streets, marching in opposition to Southern Copper (SCCO) and its planned Tia Maria (trans; Aunt Mary) copper project in their locality. The protestors are supposed to number around 10,000 (i.e. 2,000 locals 7,000 rent-a-mob and 1,000 reps from world NGO treehugger brigades) and have threatened to block the Panamericana Highway that runs through their area.
From that first paragraph, you may have noted a bit of snark directed at the protestors. Well, that's true, because although IKN is the first to stick up for and support those against mining projects for decent and correct reasons, this time this author weirdly finds himself in agreement with the Twobreakfasts gov't and the nasty smelly horrible polluting miners. That's because this isn't a nasty smelly miner; it's SCCO, a decent company run by decent Peruvians (as long as the Grupo Mexico dumbass higher hiearchy doesn't interfere, that is) and with a solid track record of environmental care, worker safety and spreading benefits to all around (hey...including its shareholders on that, but we're entering the realm of the acceptable face of kapitalism here, komrade).
I digress. The point about this protest is that it's being sponsored by two factions, firstly the treehug brigade that are just latching on to the latest cause celebre and secondly the local politicos in Islay who are pissed because SCCO hasn't paid them a bribe like other mining companies have done in other areas of the country at other times in Peru's modern history.
- It's not about pollution of farmland, because SCCO runs two pits in very similar conditions without a problem.
- It's not about "stealing the local's water", because SCCO has offered several alternatives to the locals on how water will be supplied, including building a dam that will add ater supply to the local land, or even building a desalination plant to supply Tia Maria without disrupting the current freshwater table.
It's not about anything except a bunch of greedy locals getting paid to protest. It's bullshit. Tia Maria will go ahead and what's more it will be of great benefit to the local economy around Islay and to the national economy too and without causing any disruption in the bucolic life around it, you can quote me on that one. The treehug brigade are a bunch of corrupt parasites that should be more worried about real environmental causes, but they're doing Tia Maria because the company involved is big and rich and has money to...errrr...arrange things with.
Semi-coherent rant over. Thank you for your attention. Pisco sours served. The end.