Tambogrande is a small town in the Piura Province of the Piura Region in northwestern Peru that is most famous for successfully opposing a mining development in the area. With a population of 19,017 (1999 estimate), it is the main town in the Tambo Grande District. The town of Tambogrande is quite poor with high unemployment. Its main industry is the growing of limes and mangoes on the very good land that surrounds the town.
Manhattan Minerals, a Canadian mining company, owned the mineral rights below the town and had found a large gold deposit and proposed a scheme that would see the townspeople moved elsewhere and a large mine constructed. In 1996 the Peruvian government agreed to the scheme.
Despite the promise of jobs and improved infrastructure the population balked at the proposal that would see the town replaced with a kilometer wide pit which would generate enough pollution to destroy the region's agriculture and contaminate the limited water supply.
An unprecedented protest resulted lead by local leaders of the town and the local Roman Catholic Church as well as international NGOs. The decade long battle saw violence on both sides as company machinery was vandalized and the leader of the protest was murdered. In 2002 the government agreed to a referendum and only 1.3% of the population voted in favour of the mine. In 2003 the project was officially cancelled by the government of Peru. In response the president of Manhattan Minerals, Graham Clow who had repeatedly agreed that if the people opposed the mine it wouldn't be built, was fired and the company has continued to try to convince the government of Peru to restart the project.
In 2006 a movie documenting the conflict in Tambogrande was released.
2005 northern Peru earthquake
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