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Charis Kamphuis

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law, convergence of public and corporate power, Peru, Yanacocha Mine, privatized coercion


This paper focuses on the convergence of the corporate power of Yanacocha Mine with the Peruvian State's public power. The convergence is studied in relation to two interrelated and fundamental sites of power: land rights and the regulation of the use of force. Parts One and Two present two international human rights litigation initiatives: the Negritos Case and the Grufides Case. The legal history behind the Negritos Case illustrates the complex relationship between Peru's colonial history, the 1960s Agrarian Reform, the neo-liberal shift in the 1990s, and Yanacocha's current status as one of the most profitable goldmines in the world. The serious land rights violations alleged in the Negritos Case provide the social context for the Grufides Case, namely, the emergence of widespread social protest and the escalating use of private security companies by multinational mining companies. The Grufides Case depicts the dynamics of corporate impunity, and the legal regime that facilitates it, pointing to a shift in the legitimate exercise of coercive force from the State to the corporate sector. In Part Ill, the author analyzes four legal processes that flow from the private public convergence: (1) the privatization of land; (2) the production of consent; (3) the privatization of coercive force; and (4) the absence of effective legal remedies. The human rights implications of these processes in international and national law are highlighted. In conclusion, the author considers the significance of the case study for those who seek to engage international law to address the human rights issues at the centre of the private public convergence.