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Annual Meeting Strengthens Community Relationships in Peru

For two days this past summer, more than 600 people, including rural round presidents, lieutenant governors, municipal officers, mayors of towns and community leaders, attended a series of training sessions and panel discussions organized, in part, by Newmont’s Yanacocha operation.

In the villages and towns of Cajamarca, Bambamarca and Celendin, communal organizations known as rural rounds (rondas) come together to decide on all matters related to the development and security of their communities. A “rondero” is an adult member of the community who volunteers to carry out peasant patrols and monitoring work, much like members of a neighborhood watch program.

To help align the expectations and outcomes of local ronderos with those of the National Police, Yanacocha hosted a two-day forum to discuss the duties and rights of ronderos so that no excesses are committed in the administration of justice during their patrols.

Carlos Mercado, Manager of Institutional Relations for Yanacocha, said that the rural rounds seek training on their role and duties in the communities, and with support from the Company, community leaders are better equipped to make reliable decisions in relation to safety, development and the environment. “This is not our only activity with the rural rounds; we provide ongoing support with formalization, implementation and carrying out several joint activities in their communities,” he said.

Wilson Julon Cuzado, a rondero of the Namococha hamlet, was happy to participate in the meetings, adding, “I think this training is very important and now I can share it with my community and family.”

Working closely with the ronderos, Yanacocha is able to hear first-hand the needs and expectations of the peasant communities in the more remote areas around the operations – feedback that would otherwise be difficult to collect – and is helping to enhance our ability to meaningfully contribute to the social and economic development of the rural communities.