Win us with honest trifles

Peru and politics and mining (from IKN622)

Part of an extended Regional Politics note on the current situation in Peru, from last Sunday’s edition of the weakly:


As for an opinion from the local mining industry, the difference between on-record and off-record comments from mining executives is now measured in nautical miles (for a start, off-record replies often contain swear words). But today we need the Peru on-record response to the rise of Pedro Castillo and the PL party and for that, step forward Peru’s mining mouthpiece Victor Gobitz, who since his CEO stints at several Peruvian mining companies is now the go-to for an opinion on the sector and even more now he heads up the IIMP. Here’s the official line-quote-on-record-with-Reuters (12) the official and exact political and diplomatic line for all Peruvian mining, from company boardrooms, to the Chamber of Mining, to the Ministry:

Victor Gobitz, president of the powerful Peruvian Institute of Mining Engineers (IIMP) chamber, told Reuters that if the sector wanted to grow then it needed “dialogue and consensus” with the winning candidate.

Gobitz, who is also president and CEO of the local Antamina mine controlled by BHP (BHP.AX) and Glencore (GLEN.L), said the polarized current position was sparked by years of political confrontation and the economic crisis due to the pandemic.

“We hope that soapbox speeches seeking votes soften a little and that reflection comes,” said Gobitz, speaking in his capacity as IIMP representative.

Pure milquetoast nonsense, the critic says they lack the guts to tell the truth because they all know who’s going to win this election and come August 2021, nobody wants to be first enemy. The diplomat says the same without ruffling feathers. Even high-powered local voice and sworn enemy of both PL party and Castillo, BVN’s Roque Benavides, won’t launch into the guy (yet). Be clear, BVN is going to have all sorts of issues under a President Castillo government, the history of Buenaventura the company and the Benavides family started on Castillo’s doorstep with the Coimolache mine, and the bad blood in Cajamarca is legendary. Even Roque, up to lose most from a Communist from Cajamarca in power, wants to scream out loud for the world to vote for his political ally Fujimori. But business is business, he doesn’t have academic freedom like Mario Vargas Llosa, so limits himself in the article above to these words about Castillo:

“Castillo is not moderating his positions at all and it seems that he won’t do so,” said Roque Benavides, Chairman of miner Buenaventura. Benavides said he was not ready to call any candidate an “enemy” of the sector and that dialogue was key.

However, he said Castillo appeared more radical than former Peruvian President Ollanta Humala, who after winning the 2011 election softened his anti-establishment rhetoric and shifted away from leftists like Venezuelan socialist leader Hugo Chávez.

“It will be more difficult for (Castillo) to change.”

That is a list of veiled truths, the thinly veiled ones come later and then the outright calls for action.

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