Máxima Acuña, a subsistence farmer in Peru’s northern highlands, stood up to the giant, Colorado-based Newmont Mining Corporation over the development of a gold and copper mine on her property.
The mining industry in Peru has grown at an incredible speed over the past two decades. Along with the promises of wealth and job opportunities, the Peruvian government awarded mining licenses across the country. Despite all of these positive efforts, rural farmers continue to live in poverty and are rarely consulted in the expansion of mining. Additionally, in many of the region's communities, the waste from mining has polluted numerous local water sources, devastating local people’s drinking water and agricultural irrigation needs. In 2016 Maxima received the Goldman Environmental Prize for her environmental activism.
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The Goldman Environmental Prize