Prize of Human Rights Martine Anstett - 2016 Prize
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One year later to the sudden loss of Martine Anstett, the Human Rights Prize that bears her name, was awarded to Peruvian César Estrada on April 29, 2016. He was the first recipient of the award.
César Estrada Chuquilin (Peru) is a spokesman of the indigenous community and a member of the Red Comunicadores Indigenas del Perú - REDCIP (a network of indigenous communicators in Peru). Since the age of 14, he has been a "Rondero" and has worked to protect the interests of his indigenous community against third parties (the function is recognized by the Peruvian Constitution which provides for some autonomy and quasi-judicial functions to some community representatives).
He has denounced a number of abuses about regional land conflicts - including the case of the Chaupe family - and environmental issues related to the Conga mining project in Cajamarca region. The Conga mining megaproject is implemented by the Yanacocha consortium, consisting of a United States company (Newmont), a Peruvian company (Buenaventura) and the World Bank. None of the communities that were affected by the project were consulted. To impose the project, the State declared a state of emergency and continued to prosecute the community members who opposed it. The State authorized the use of force against the movement contesting the project, a choice that cost the lives of five people.
César Estrada Chuquilin has also denounced all the threats against the members of peasant communities that opposed the mining project. Through audiovisual means and social networks, he participated in the dissemination of information, which helped draw the attention of national and international organizations of human rights.
Since 2011, he has been the subject of ongoing death threats, acts of intimidation and attacks against him and his family, especially his father and his wife. César Estrada Chuquilin is still a victim of judicial harassment. He has been unjustly accused of theft and financial irregularities, and abducting a businesswoman of Yanacocha. In 2014, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued interim measures to protect him.
In September and October 2015, this defender was a victim of assassination attempts. He was attacked in September while returning to Celedin after an inspection visit with the lagoon guards at Conga lakes, where they were assessing the environmental impact of the mining project on the region. The lagoon guards have also been victims of judicial harassment because of their opposition to the Conga mining project. Since the 2015 attack, César Estrada Chuquilin has suffered from health problems. Even recently, a few days ago, he received threats when his trial was to begin.
Human Rights Chronicle by Margaux Wartelle
Preselection Meeting Report for Nominations to Martine Anstett Prize of Human Rights (12 January 2016)
The Preselection Committee with Frantz Vaillant (President), Louis Joinet (Vice President) and Delphine Couveinhes Matsumoto (General Secretary) met on January 12 to decide on a shortlist of five candidates. The list will be forwarded to the Committee in charge of the ultimate selection next February.
Several criteria were prior to the choice of the five selected profiles: a geographical representation, a renowned action in the field of the human rights, special circumstances (political situation, imprisonment, etc.) and a topical quest.