LIMA, Peru – A Peruvian judge has ruled in favor of the owner of Latin America's biggest gold mine and ordered a family of four to abandon land it says has always been in its possession.
The case has become emblematic for activists who claim multinational mining companies wield overwhelming influence in Peru.
Provincial judge Tomy Padilla found in favor of Yanacocha, which is majority owned by U.S.-based Newmont Mining Co., deeming the Chaupe family trespassers.
He ordered them to turn over their 75-acre highlands farm to Yanacocha. It is crucial to Yanacocha's $4.8 billion Conga mining project, which has been stalled since 2012 protests that claimed five lives.
Padilla imposed 32-month suspended sentences for the family and ordered members to pay Yanacocha $1,900.
Defense attorney Mirtha Vaquez says the family will appeal.