Mirtha Vasquez | Anti-miners now have senior positions in the PCM and ministries | POLITICS

Pablo Sánchez de Francesch is the new Deputy Minister of Territorial Governance and would be proof that the head of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM), Mirtha VasquezNot only can he not leave behind his past contrary to formal mining, but he is also willing to take it to his cabinet and to the ministries directly involved in the sector.

SIGHT: Premier Mirtha Vásquez signed an agreement with Movadef’s undersecretary general

Sánchez, who comes to the PCM to replace the leader of Peru Libre, Braulio Grajeda Bellido, has a professional career that goes back to Cajamarca, like that of Mirtha Vásquez. And it is that he and the current premier have history, as they were leaders in the anti-mining NGO (non-profit organization) Grufides or Training and Intervention Group for Sustainable Development.


This NGO presents itself as an organization that is dedicated to “strengthening capacities in the face of environmental problems, emphasizing the right to water; especially in the face of extractive activities ”, but all this activity can be summed up in this: enemies of private investment.


Grufides was one of those involved in the obstruction of the Conga mining project (of US $ 5.5 billion) between 2011 and 2012, and the social unrest generated by the management of the then regional governor of Cajamarca, and today sentenced for corruption, Gregorio Santos.

Santos himself, on August 16, 2012, even rejected a meeting with the Executive and the Yanacocha mining company in Lima in which a solution to the conflict was going to be sought, ensuring that, despite the fact that the project had its own Study of Environmental Impact (EIA) approved, it had been “destroyed with five expert reports made by the Regional Government of Cajamarca and Grufides.” A society that in the long run was catastrophic for that region.

ANTI-MINING PARTNERS.  Grufides and the MAS formed an alliance in Cajamarca to oppose private investment.  Now they work in the Castillo government.
ANTI-MINING PARTNERS. Grufides and the MAS formed an alliance in Cajamarca to oppose private investment. Now they work in the Castillo government.

It was in said NGO where Vásquez was appointed executive director for the period 2015-2017, while Sánchez was assigned the coordination of the University-Society Articulation area for those years.

Both even prepared a report on the case of Máxima Acuña and collaborated in the lawsuit that the Cajamarquina woman held against the Yanacocha mining company. The aforementioned document was developed for the NGO Franciscans International.

From those years, some words of today’s premier were recorded in a video interview, stating that “we must reflect on these economic models that are predatory, extractivist, because everything has a limit.”

Later, in 2017, Sánchez would follow in Vásquez’s footsteps, assuming the position of director of Grufides.


The connection between Pablo Sánchez and Mirtha Vásquez is not the only one. The appointment of the new deputy minister elicited congratulations from the frustrated former presidential candidate Marco Arana. The also leader of the Frente Amplio is one of the founders of Grufides and also one of the main opponents of Conga.

“Now you have two experts who can make changes for a new mining,” Arana wrote on his social networks, also referring to the premiere.

Another of the implicit partners of the NGO that Vásquez directed was the Movement of Social Affirmation (MÁS) of Gregorio Santos. On September 9, Marco Sipán Torres joined the Executive, who was vice president of MAS and now serves as head of the Social Management office of the Ministry of Energy and Mines (Minem). In this last sector there is also the former legislator of the Broad Front Lenin Checco as head of the Cabinet of Advisors.

The mining engineer Rómulo Mucho maintains that the characters in question “have never believed in mining and, furthermore, they have found it very profitable to oppose it; I think they are traffickers of conflicts ”. The PCM and the Minem are the intermediary actors in the conflicts that affect private investment. What future awaits their resolution after the arrival of characters like Sánchez and Sipán? The outlook is bleak.


-Another case of an anti-mining character in the Executive is that of José de Echave, co-founder of the NGO Cooperacción.

-De Echave is one of the voices that the head of the MEF, Pedro Francke, has listened to to design the tax reform proposal in the mining section.


Milton Von Hesse
Milton Von Hesse



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