photo of person from Peru Cerro de Pasco
Peru glossary


(PERU 19)






Agrarian League leader







Paccha is located nine kilometres away from the city of La Oroya, where we find the smelter and metal refinery of Centromin, which belonged to the North American company, Cerro de Pasco Corporation. Different metals like copper, lead and zinc are processed here.

Mr. Sandoval is the son of Don Ignacio Sandoval Santos, an active member of the community and leader of Provincial Agrarian League of Yauli.

Section 1
Where were you born?
In Cerro de Pasco.

In what year?
Well, I was born in 1960.

So that is to say you are 35 years old?
That's it.

How was it that you were born in Cerro? Is your family from there?
Well, the fact is that it was for work reasons that my family went to Cerro de Pasco. After seven years working in La Oroya and in other places, my dad went there and that is where I was born.

Is your mum from the mountains, is she originally from Cerro de Pasco?
No, no, no she is from Paccha, from the community itself. My dad, like my mum, are from Paccha. They went to Cerro de Pasco for work reasons.

Are you the only son?
No, no, we are two from my mother and father's side.

Is your brother younger?
That's right, he is younger, my brother is younger than me.

Was he also born in Cerro de Pasco?
Yes, he was also born over in Cerro de Pasco when we lived there.

Until what year were you in Cerro de Pasco?
We were there until 1968.
Section 2
Did you do your primary education in Cerro de Pasco?
On the contrary, in 1968 I began my studies in Paccha. I arrived here in Paccha to study and later in La Oroya itself.

So until what age were you in Cerro de Pasco?
Until seven.

And you hadn't studied until that age?
Not yet.

But there, in Cerro de Pasco, the children of the Cerro de Pasco workers have the right to study in the company schools.
That is now, but then there wasn't any of that, none of that.

There wasn't the right to education for the children of the workers?
Exactly, there was none of that. At that time it was still the Cerro de Pasco Corporation, it was the gringos' (westerners, foreigners, in this context North Americans who ran/owned the mines) company and there was no right to education at that time.

And didn't the gringos facilitate education for the children of the miners?
As I said, there was none of that. It was a very unfavourable situation for the miners and because of that attention was not paid to the education of the children.

You spent your childhood in Cerro; I imagine you had lots of friends. Do you remember?
Our neighbours were very good friends. We had neighbours from Yanahuanca for example, also from Huancayo, from Huancavelica, from other places too, but those are the ones I remember most.

Do you remember the work your father did? Did he tell you anything about his job as a miner?
Yes, for example, my father, following his mission as a carpenter, set up a workshop back then. Since I was the eldest, I helped him but my younger brother also accompanied him during his working hours, from seven in the evening.

What work did he do in the mine he worked at?
Well, I don't remember. I think he did lots of jobs.

Are you saying that after working at the Cerro de Pasco Corporation, your father would go out and do carpentry work?
Yes, exactly. After working at the company he would do carpentry work; I remember that. I would help him but, of course, at first I would just accompany him and later, through my own intuition, I began carving the wood. After that I learned on my own; I learned by watching my father.
Section 3
I suppose those memories of working with your father are also complemented by other things about your childhood; how did you enjoy yourself, what did you play?
Yes, of course, we played ball and other children's games, that's how it was.

What other games?
We played the famous quincho, we called it.

What's the quincho game like?
Four or five of us would get together, each of us would have a ball, then we would make a hole in the ground. The point was to give each player a carambola (big marble) and then get into the hole. The first one to get to the hole was the winner, that's what it was.

Was it a marble game and was there another game you can remember?
I also remember rajatron.

What's the rajatron like?
In the rajatron everyone has a top and then we would also dig a hole and the one that would whip it closest to the hole won. Then, the top that was furthest would get put in the hole so that it could be removed by the other tops, just by their impact, that's all. The top [in the hole] would get damaged because some of the new tops had very sharp points that would crack it. That was called the rajatrompo (literally, crack the top). You had to crack or break someone else’s top.

Compared to what the children here in the Paccha community today play today, have the games remained the same or do you think things have changed?
For example I see them play and it's very similar. For example, they play hide and seek, they hide like we did, but it's not as natural as it was before. Maybe, compared to before, it seems like the children have changed a bit, but some games remain the same. Other games you see very rarely around here, but others are still around. For example, you don't see children playing with tops much anymore. Before, that was really popular.

They don't do that much?
Very little. It's like it is becoming very distant and it's not attractive anymore. It seems like they don't like it much.

What about the quincho you were talking about?
That still persists. You still see children playing that around here, the children continue to enjoy it.

Do they still play it the same way?
Yes, the same way.

Have you noticed new games, some other new game?
Of course, those games...what do you call them? Those mechanical games, what do you call them? Pin-ball, Nintendo. You see all of that around here.
Section 4
What? There's a lot of Nintendo playing here in Paccha?
Yes, there are two places.

Do they belong to private individuals or are they in public or commercial premises?
Yes, they belong to private individuals.

And do the children go to play at those houses, do they go to play there?
Everyday. They have even adopted it as an obligatory pastime. Those houses are full, completely booked.

You get TV in the community as well, don't you? The children also entertain themselves with television, don't they?
Yes, yes, of course. We get channel 13. The community also has a satellite dish. The channels that are tuned in most are Frequencia Latina, which we get directly.

The community has its own satellite dish?
Yes, and, as I was telling you, we get America Television, Frequencia Latina and Andina de Television, directly. With the satellite dish people can choose the best programmes, the best films there are.

Who manages the satellite dish?
The community itself. Yes, it manages it by appointing people to take charge of the satellite.

When you were a child there was no TV, do you think that it influences children?
Yes, of course it influences them. The children spend all their time watching television. They watch cartoons, then other programmes, more cartoons for children.

Do those programmes concern your reality or do you think they deal with other realities?
Well, they're different. That's what it's like on television. I think they are even from other countries.

Do you think that influences children, their customs?
Yes, I imagine it does. You could even say that television takes their time away from studying.

Do you have a primary school here in Paccha?
That's right, we have our own primary school.

Do you have other levels of education here in the community?
We also have an agricultural school and a secondary school.

Any other higher technical degree?
No we don't have any other. Absolutely none. If you want higher education you have to leave the province.
Section 5
When you came from Cerro de Pasco to Paccha, had you just began your studies? Did you do your primary education in Paccha?
Yes, at that time only primary.

At that time? What year, more or less?
It was 1968.

When you completed primary school was there secondary school in Paccha?
No, no. That's why I went to study in La Oroya. It was only in 1988 that a secondary school was created here in the community.

Just about seven years ago?
Yes, yes.

Let's go back to your studies, until what year did you do secondary school?
I stopped in the third year, and I stopped studying then.

Why did you drop out?
The truth is that my father did not have enough money, I could see that he was sacrificing a lot so I told him, "Dad, I'm going to take a break from studying for a while." It ended up that the break has continued until today, ha ha ha. I never continued and it's not my father's fault. At that time I needed clothes, for example, and other little things for my personal use that my father couldn't give to me. I couldn't ask my father so I had to find ways to take care of my need for money myself. I had my own needs.

You felt the need to earn money in order to buy what you wanted?
Exactly, engineer.

And, therefore, to work?
That's it.

Where did you work?
I worked as a king kong (traditional sweet) maker. I worked in Paccha, in La Oroya, I also went to work in Lima.

How did it go in Lima?
So-so, but the truth is I didn't adjust and I came back here.

Tell me, do all the young people that want to continue onto higher education go to La Oroya and elsewhere?
To Huancayo, as much as to Lima; to Tarma and, more recently, they are going to Pucalpa because it is easier to be accepted at university there.

They go to Pucalpa for secondary school too?
No, no, no. They finish secondary in Paccha and La Oroya. We could say that 50% go to La Oroya and another 50% stays in Paccha. Before they would generally go to La Oroya. I must tell you though that 100% didn't study, about 50% would study and the other 50% would not. That's how it was before but it has changed because there are comuneros (registered community members with rights and responsibilities) that work at Centromin and they have private schools, they have the priority so, therefore, the children of Centromin workers go to study in La Oroya. They didn't have that before, that's a new thing.
Section 6
Do you know how many Centromin workers live in Paccha?
Today there must be 50 workers in total, but including retired workers there must be 200.

Yes, alive, retired by incentives. These are ways that the company has to stop their work.

To speak a bit about your father, what did he do?
Well, after being a miner for the company he became a builder, a carpenter. He did his jobs, he had many jobs. He always worked something out and knew all the trades.

Has your father told you anything about your grandparents, about your family history? Or, do you remember your grandparents.
Well he would tell me that my grandfather had llamas, that my grandfather, for example, was from Huayhuay.

Is that another community? It belongs to...
Also to the Yauli province. It's a community.

But did your grandfather live in Huayhuay all his life?
No, no. According to my dad, he left when he was quite young because he was a tenant of the Beneficiencia Publica (Public Charity). They would go to Pucara and live there as tenants.

What was it like to be a tenant?
They would request land from the haciendas (estate farms)that existed before and they would pay a monthly rent, those were the tenants.

Approximately what year are you referring to?
I don't know exactly, but it must have been at least 1930. There were also other haciendas that belonged to the Cerro de Pasco [Corporation] and my father and grandfather were tenants there.

Can you explain more about that?
There were two haciendas: Pomabamba of the Public Charity and Pucara of the Cerro de Pasco Corporation. There are no longer two now, they have been broken up. My father and grandfather were there before coming to this community. They worked in many places in Pucara, closer to where we are now in a place called Rangra. From there they went to a place called Pacsa that was at the border of Paccha and Pomabamba. So they have stayed there and they have come to the community of Paccha.
Section 7
What did they do there?
My father helped my grandfather. They were muleteers and they worked those lands. My father and my grandfather, for example, told me about the smoke, about how it was that it got here. They say, for example, that the smoke would come onto the communities like some kind of snowfall, that there was a lot and that it damaged the crops. But, my father also told me that when he worked in the smelter, for example, in the soot of the smelter where he worked, he began to get spots and blisters on his body. According to what other people told him, some would die quickly doing that job so that's why he quit and went to work elsewhere. First he went to Cerro de Pasco but then he left the company for good. I remember my father telling me about the gas and the very fine dust in the company; so why destroy his life?, he would say. Because of that it was better to be a farmer than a worker and so he stopped working for the company.

Your father's great concern was about the diseases he could pick up at the company, wasn't it?
Exactly, that's why he didn't work for the company permanently and he decided to retire and work in the countryside. He returned to the community of Paccha.

Has your father told you any anecdotes about your community, about his history?
Well, I also remember, from my grandfather's testimony, about how they began. Powerful companies bordered the lands of Paccha and the community had problems with that.

What problems did the Paccha community have?
Land disputes.

More or less, how do these problems with the haciendas arise.
They take place in about nineteen...something when the furnaces in La Oroya begin to operate in 1923. There were 11 comuneros in Paccha, 11, that's all.

Only 11?
There were only 11 farmers, so when the smoke damaged the grass and the livestock was affected some began to sell their livestock and their land to the Cerro de Pasco Corporation. Some simply went away and left their land behind. So they left, they left for a period of many years, shall we say. Afterwards, after some years, a group of 12 comuneros returned to Pacchas. By that time a comunero opened the pages of the community's registry in order to organise and update the documents of the Paccha community and he encountered a great problem like that, for example, other haciendas that bordered Paccha had invaded the land of the community.

To be precise, are you telling me that due to the smoke the dwellers of Pacchas had to abandon their land and, in doing so, the hacendados took over community land?
That's how it was. Before the smelter there were 11 comuneros that were in the area that is now the district of Paccha and they had a larger quantity of livestock. So, what did they do after the smoke had damaged things? They sold their livestock and left. They returned later but by then most of Paccha had been usurped by the haciendas. They have been usurping [the land] since that time and they were in possession of it.
Section 8
Did they take them to court?
They took them to court.

How long did the trial last?
The first trial lasted six years. In 1936 they won the case and recuperated their land. In 1939 they were able to establish a campesino community, or, sorry, at that time, an indigenous community. That's the history although the Hispanic rebellion of the community dates back to 1622, with documents from 1622. So, the community's birth is at that time. I'll bring it to your attention that the title document of Paccha is 108 pages long.

Why so many pages?
I can't explain why the title has so many pages, engineer.

Are they old titles that have been stored away?
That's right, since 1622.

Coming back to this century, you recovered your land and then what happened?
There was just a demarcation of land without any sanearse (compensation). Then in 1975 I remember well that the community was limited; compensation was given and it was fenced off since then. Since 1975 to the present, the Paccha community does not have any law suits.

Did you learn about any law suits about the smoke from your dad who use to be a community leader?
Yes, I remember that a last sum of money came in, it was a dispute with the mining company because they contaminated the rivers. Yes, I remember...we're talking 1973 or, sorry, 1974, when a sheep raising cooperative was created. That cooperative failed in 1975. Then, with the last sum of money, a good sum, I don't remember how much, that arrived, 200 sheep were bought. This case is not constituted as a cooperative anymore, but as the livestock department of the community of Paccha. It still operates today. The money used was from the compensation for the tailings dumped in the Shinca River and it was used directly to create a livestock department, which will serve the development of Paccha.

Have there been more disputes afterwards?
There haven't been any after that. Look, for example, I have told you about that money which they gave us; in our case it hasn't been because of the smoke, but because of the tailings because we have a mine exploited by the Cerro [de Pasco Corporation] and now by Centromin; because they contaminated the stream, we received money, because the case of the smoke was followed in meeting of the committee in 1968.

Explain that transaction to us.
Well, according to the document published in 1968... where, you could say, there was a mutual agreement between Paccha and the Cerro de Pasco Corporation, a single payment of 56,490 soles (Peruvian currency) was accepted at the time in an effort to maintain good relations. Look, with the acceptance of the 56,490 soles [the community] absolutely, definitely and expressly agrees not to take any action whatsoever in terms of the contamination by the smoke or the tailings. That's what the transaction of 1968 refers to.
Section 9
Was that the only payment the community received due to the smoke or had it previously received other compensation.
There have been transactions before; for example, in 1942. Those documents, in reality, have been lost in the community, they have been absolutely lost.

Going onto aspects about life in Paccha - its customs - what are its celebrations like, its fiestas (festivals, celebrations)?
Traditionally, in Paccha we celebrate birthdays, for example. In my family, on the eve of a birthday, at midnight, we make egg and dark beer punch. Then, the next day, we have a breakfast that is typical in my family. For example, patasca (traditional soup) is a traditional breakfast food, or guinea pig or patasca. That's a birthday. At lunch we have pachamanca (meat and vegetables cooked in underground ovens).

After that?
Well, a few glasses of chicha (liquor made from maize) or beer to let the guinea pig settle.

Is there any dancing after the pachamanca?
Yes, sometimes. When all the family is nearby we have a dance.

Do the rest of the neighbours in Paccha celebrate birthdays?
Yes. The birthday is a holiday if it is well celebrated. When it is on a work day, people take the day off and put in a day later. Some celebrate with a pompa and all that.

When you say they celebrate with a pompa, what do you mean by that?
They invite their friends, for example, and they have a lot of alcohol, there's lots of noise and music, that's a pompa. In that case, things are seen differently.

Do you think those celebrations are changing or do they remain the same?
For example, when young people go; for example, if it's the birthday of somebody that's between 18 and 20 years old, things will take on a very different direction nowadays. They only play rock music, modern music, for example. What do they use for this? Drink, alcohol, rather, and cigarettes. They practically forget the food. They're only interested in drinking and in that music that isn't from around here.

So, the young people only dance to rock music?
Aha, they just dance to rock music and drink and from there they go onto create scandals. This is a situation I wanted to tell you about because it has to do with young people.
Section 10
So it's very different from when you celebrate your birthday?
That's right, very different.

Continuing with traditions and your own experiences, tell us about your marriage. When did you get married?
I got married in 1982.

In a registry or in a church?
Only in a registry.

How are weddings celebrated in Paccha?
Well, first the godparents [of the wedding] come to an agreement and then the first thing they do is hire a band and organise the banquet.

What does the band consist of, what is it made up of?
For example there are four or five instruments: a clarinet, a harp, a violin... Well, now they are more modern, they even have electronic sound systems.

Is the banquet made up of traditional food?
Yes, of course. The banquet is based on patasca, puchero (dish made from potatoes, cabbage and a little meat), pachamanca.

I have been told that there are a lot of gifts at weddings in your community?
Yes, yes. That's coming. When the religious wedding ends, for example, the first thing we do is go to the house and then the bride and groom arrive, you see. They dance the Danubio Azul (Blue Danube, Strauss) and then a competition of gifts begins, calling the bride, the groom or the family. There are cases when the groom has a large family so he gets more gifts, or vice-versa, and at the end he ends up with all the gifts from the guests. Once the gifts are given, supper begins.

What gifts do they get?
They get little things for their house like pots, often furniture, in some cases, although rarely, land, but that's rare. You could say they get little things to set up their home, that's it.

When you got married did you not have the part with the presents?
No, no.

From your references, were previous weddings similar to the current ones, or have they changed?
Well, that, very logically, conserves its essence.

More or less, what is conserved today?
I'll give you my experience, for example, where I proposed marriage to my fiancee and did the proposal on my knees.

To your fiancee?
No, no, to her father, my father in law.
Section 11
Her father?
To my father in law, it's one of the basics or old customs. Another one was that on the day of the proposal you finish up with a miquishpada. That's what we call it, ha, ha; and then the bride goes to the groom’s house.

What does the miquishpada consist of?
For example, gifts; in my case I took two cases of beer and my father and my father in law, who are old, coca and cigarettes. That's the miquishpada, that's what we call it in Quechua, engineer.

Do you still have the miquishpada today?
That's right. That comes from way back, it's an old custom.

When you refer to way back, are you referring to your father's days?

To your grandfathers as well?
Aha, because they told me that's how it happened and that's how it happened in my marriage, or, rather, my proposal.

What happens if the bride’s parents oppose the marriage?
Well, the legal thing, the important thing is that the couple understand each other, that's what is important. Many time parents oppose the marriage. For example, from personal experience, I have seen parents refuse flatly as in the case of my family, the case of my nephew, the case of my cousin. There's a saying, though, that says that "love overcomes all mountains."

Really? What mountains does it overcome?
Well, the, ha,ha, impossibility, ha; nothing is impossible when you want it.

What does the demolishing of mountains consist of?
Well, both take a decision, for example, of going far away from them [their parents], from their sight. After some time they return, trying to make up. The parents are then convinced and everything is solved, that's what happens.

Does it happen frequently?
No, no, no. It's rare that it happens, but it happens.

Did it happen more often in the olden days?
Well, I know it was like that...there were parents who didn't even know where they were being taken, this I know from references.

So, things have changed a lot?
It's really different now. Recently, for example, my nephew - I have an 18 or 20 year old nephew through my sister - [proposed]. Proposing is simpler now. The bride's parents even know. They have allowed everything from the groom so now it [the proposal] is only an official act, an agreement, that's all. The essence of perhaps apologising to the father in law or swearing respect to him is no longer there. Perhaps there is none of that any more.
Section 12
Do they still kneel down?
Well, I haven't seen that from two of my nephews, no. On the contrary, one day I told them they had to ask their father in laws to forgive them because they had possibly done wrong but they only shook hands. That's how simple things are now.

When you got married did you settle down in Paccha or did you live in other places?
Well, I left Paccha for two years and I was in my wife's village where I did agricultural work.

San Pedro de Cajas, that's where I went. In that case I planted potatoes because my mother in law had land and after that I started a very homey life, that's it.

Where did you go after San Pedro?
Well, I returned to Paccha really because I could count on my father's land for raising livestock. I have been involved exclusively in livestock for eight years now. I have a few animals and then these eight years. I tell you, my ranch was only small, so what did I do? Since I have always been impatient, I began to plant grass. Now I have two hectares. After that I planted maca (small tuber like a radish with medicinal properties) for two consecutive years. My grass is very good, there's great demand for it in La Oroya where it sells for four or five soles. I plant it and after that I take it to La Oroya on a horse or a llama or I sell it right here. That's part of my work, the other part is extra. I have an animal farm, I raise guinea pigs.

Do you have sheep?
Yes, I have a few.

How many, more or less?
I have 20 sheep, one horse, 18 llamas.

When I had a conversation with your father he told me that the smoke had brought back the diseases this year, has that affected you?
Yes. We're talking about 1993, it's 1995 now. Contamination has continued over these last three years with greater strength than what it was in say 1988, 1990 when it was less. Now the contamination of the smoke is more powerful. I reiterate that I agree with what my father said. This time, for example, the animals have also been blinded.

What's that like? Explain.
For example, a horse is healthy and then he gets a cloud on his eye until he completely loses his sight, it's like a type of cataract.
Section 13
Is that a product of the smoke?
Possibly because it's an illness that just appears and cannot be cured with simple medicines. Medicines cure the simple problems, but we are unaware of the cause of the diseases that cannot be completely cured with the medication we have.

When did the blinding disease appear?
Well, well, I had to deal with it since 1993.

Did that disease exist before?
Before - around 1968 - animals, including horses, suffered of lameness, blindness and diarrhoea.

Did the three diseases appear at the same time?

This time around is there also lameness, blindness and diarrhoea going around?
Exactly. In 1975 it was less, it calmed down for about five years. After that it slowly started reappearing and now, as you can see, the plants, for example, are very damaged. They are being hurt by the smoke.

Is that to say that diseases appear from time to time?
That's right.

They appear, disappear and reappear?
These diseases reappear more frequently when the smoke is constantly over this area or there are weeks when it is constant. I think it's because of the changing direction of the wind, so we constantly get the smoke. Since we are in a gorge, the smoke comes at one or two in the afternoon and then it disappears and returns at night and that's when the diseases develop. When there is no smoke nothing happens to the livestock. It's the smoke that hurts them.

Does that mean their is a direct link between the smoke and those diseases? Have you complained over the years about the effects of the smoke?
Look, I am the community's delegate to the Agrarian League and, therefore, as a representative of my community and with the assembly's approval, I have complained to Centromin in a very personal manner. We have demanded that they at least compensate us for the damage they have caused.

What did Centromin say?
Centromin has flatly refused to provide us with a solution due to the reasons set forth in 1968.

You mean because of the agreement you referred to earlier on?
Exactly, so we don't even have the slightest chance to demand anything from Centromin, according to their response in several occasions.

As a delegate of the Agrarian League have you learned at your meetings about other communities who have complained about these diseases?
Yes, yes, Wari, for example, is a strong case.
Section 14
Wari, but also the Old Oroya, Chacapalpa, Huayhuay, Suitocancha, Pucara, Tingocancha, Pachachaca, Yauli, Huaynacancha, Saco and also the community of Huaypacchi; all these communities are in conflict with Centromin in this region. I'm telling you this because I am a representative of my community at the meetings.

Are there complaints about the diseases in all the meetings?
Yes, exactly.

Have you complained to the government authorities?
Yes, we have. The Agrarian League, for example, drafted a memo on July 15th, 1994 which was sent to the President of the Republic himself. We requested the appointment of a committee to evaluate the effects of the smoke and it was not until April 23rd that the committee to evaluate the damages on the province was appointed.

Are they evaluating now?
Yes, six communities have been evaluated.

What communities?
The first one was Huaypacha, then Paccha and La Oroya and then Pucara which is part of Cerro de Pasco.

Do you know the results?
Not yet because they have 45 days over which they must evaluate communities from the province of Yauli to Cerro de Pasco and some part of the central jungle. After those 45 days they have 10 days to evaluate the information, so possibly then we will know the results of the evaluation.

After that commission, what's going to happen? What steps will be taken?
The Agrarian League hopes to make a decision together with the communities in order to take legal action against the company.

Are you talking about the Agrarian League? What's the Agrarian League?
The Agrarian League is a body that represents the campesinos of the Yauli province.

Only of the Yauli province?
Yes, that's right.

And do the other provinces in Junin also have a league?
Yes, they have their agrarian league. The Bonbon plateau and Tarma, for example, are organised in a league called Santo Atahualpa. There is also another agrarian league near Concepcion, Huancayo. These are all different agrarian leagues which constitute the agrarian federation of the department or the region, in this case the Andres Avellano Caceres region which includes the departments of Huanuco, Cerro de Pasco and Junin.
Section 15
Do you have an organisation at the national level?
Yes, we have the National Agrarian Confederation.

What groups does it include?
Every agrarian league and family in Peru.

What is the Agrarian League you belong to called?
The Agrarian League of the Yauli Province "Tupac Amaru".

How are leaders elected?
They are elected at a convention for a two year term.

Who attends the convention?
All the community delegates.

What do you discuss at the convention?
Well, in the province of Yauli and La Oroya we discuss environmental pollution. That's the biggest problem we have.

The main problem?

What other issues to you discuss?
Well, [the discussions] are geared towards the orientation of the campesino, for example, production, livestock management, as well as that of pastures. They are short courses aimed at agrarian education - simple, educational programmes.

How do you elect the committee?
Well, I'll tell you about my own experience. I was elected when the committee officially invited the community in order to choose delegates, that is, new delegates. The new delegates assist as plenos (?) and the delegates that are handing over the positions are also plenos, so the position is handed over and new delegates are elected. Often, delegates are re-elected and that has to do with their desires, the work they have done, and finally, with their superior performance.

To the rest of the delegates that assist?
Yes. We are 16 communities, there are two delegates per community and 32 delegates constitute an assembly so that, logically, every decision is valid.

Are all the communities represented in the committee?
Yes, of course.

Or do some not get a position?
Mostly, all of them get a position. The ones which have the most votes go for president and vice-president or for secretary of defence, of the press, of propaganda, of sports, of campesino cultures, of women's affairs.

Are there women delegates in the convention?
Well, in the current committee there is one woman delegate from Huaricancha but she resigned from her post two months after she was elected and it is still empty.
Section 16
Do you know why?
I think it was due to employment reasons that she moved far away and we haven't seen her.

Are women always present?
Yes, yes.

In the committee?
Yes, of course. For example, when we have held updating courses we have mostly invited the mother's clubs of the indigenous communities. We are now holding a workshop and we are also inviting the mother's clubs and women's clubs. On this occasion we will request a change in the committee and we have to select one delegate of that committee, whether it is the committee of mothers or any other that is related to the women of the community.

Is that to say that on this occasion you will be calling on the communities and the mother's clubs of the communities.

Is it the first time they will convene or have they convened before?
No, it's the first time they will be convened, at least by this committee.

Why is it that this committee is concerned with women and the others haven't been?
Well, I think things have changed. Now young people believe that women should also enjoy the same rights as men. Women should also have equal participation not only in terms of responsibilities so that is how the president [of the committee] and other delegates came to the agreement that women should participate.

Are there also organised women's groups at the community level?
Yes, for example, the mother's clubs are now working at the level of the "vaso de leche" [programme], but each campesino community has its own women's group which are separate from the mother's clubs. However, their interventions overlap. You can also find here in Paccha, for example, many women that have qualities and I have visited communities where both married and unmarried ladies have the vocation to serve as leaders, so that is the main reason for their consideration in the assembly. It was approved that the communities and the women's clubs participate.

So this convention is not going to convene the mother's clubs?
If the community does not have a women's club, then the mother's clubs will be allowed to participate.

Why such differentiation between a mother's club and a women's club?
Look, the women's club, for example, supports the community's committee directly; it is a supportive body that is made up of comuneras - wives of the comuneros - who are appropriately registered in the original registry. There's one big difference between them and the mother's clubs: the members are only part of them because they live in the community due to employment reasons. They're there for a month, two months, and they belong to the mother's clubs because they have young children and they get a ration of milk and food. That is very different from a women's club which does much more.
Section 17
In Paccha do women also participate as leaders? Are there women leaders?
Well, on this occasion there are. For example, two women who are on the premises: one is on the community committee in the administrative section and the other one is in the fiscal section.

Do you know of any cases where they have had higher positions?
Well, here in Paccha they haven't, but to be honest, no. The woman I mentioned though managed to become Secretary of the National Agrarian Confederation.

A national leader?

What do you think of the ever more important participation of women? Do you agree with it?
Yes, of course I agree that women should develop and contribute to the community, that's how it should be.

Does your wife participate in the women's organisations of your community?
Yes, of course she does. She contributes as much as she can. She has always participated in the women's clubs of the community.

If she became a leader would you support her?
Yes, of course, I wouldn't mind. I believe there wouldn't be a problem.

Well, here in Paccha we can tell that women play an important part in the organisational life of the community. We sincerely congratulate you. Now, going onto a different organisational aspect, you mentioned you were a member of a club, what is the name of your club?
The club, well it's an equestrian club that is called Purisima Concesion de Paccha and there are five people in the group who have rebate horses.

What do you mean by rebate horses?
They are very skilful horses, they have a received something like a military training and they know there left from their right - there are three acts - they know how to go backwards, that's what rebate is. They are well trained, well educated to do those things. So what do we do? This club, for example, tries to hold a party, let's say for a patron on the 8th of December, and we all present our horses with a white, silver reign. The horses are all fancy and the rider is all dressed up too. A judge is chosen and then the horses compete to see which one is more skilful in terms of doing number one, two and three, for example. The number eight is very popular among the campesinos and it consists of setting up bottles and then the horse must come out at full gallop and do the eight figure without knocking down any of the bottles. Every horse must go through that trial and the ones that knock down the bottles are disqualified. Another trial is the horse salute where the horse goes up to the judge's table and, as he approaches, the rider takes off his hat and the horse rears up. This is a type of salute and each horse gets marked accordingly.
Section 18
Are there any other clubs aside from the equestrian club here in Paccha?
Yes, sport clubs?

What sport do you do?
Football. It's the most popular.

Only football?
There's also a small team of mini football and volleyball.

But there's a golf course here, don't you play golf?
No, no, we don't have access to the course.

Who has access to the course?
Only the staff at Centromin. Only they, golf is only for them.

However, the course is practically in your community?
Well, what happened was that that land was sold to the Cerro de Pasco Corporation.

Well, to wrap it up, what are your plans for the future?
Well, at the moment I want to stay in the community and develop my guinea pig farm, plant grass and continue with my activities.

What future do you see for your children?
I want them to study so that they might be able to become something, like good professionals, for example. The truth is that now there are very little possibilities here on the land.

You don't see a future for them here in the community?
Maybe later when we resolve the problem of the smoke and everything else that is jeopardising us. Perhaps when that is over we will be able to develop and the boys will be able to stay, but even if this doesn't happen, we still need professionals and technicians to develop our community. That's how it should be and even better if they are local.

I hope everything works for the benefit of your community and its population. Thank you very much for the interview.
Thank you.