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Peruvian potato farmer among six Goldman Environmental prize winners

Maxima Acuna, a Peruvian farmer, mother of four and grandmother, won the Goldman Environmental Prize for South and Central America. (Courtesy photo: Goldman Environmental Prize)A Peruvian potato farmer who was beaten and jailed after protesting against the loss of her land and home to a mining firm is among six winners of the Goldman Prize, one of the world’s richest awards for environmental activists. “People all over the world are fighting to protect their land and water,” said Maxima Acuna, mother of four and grandmother, who won the prize for Latin America. Her campaigning over more than five years eventually led to the suspension of the $4.8 billion Conga gold and copper mine project in the Peruvian highlands. Environmentalists feared the mine would have poisoned local water sources and displaced communities and individuals living and farming there. Acuna’s home in a remote area — a four-hour drive from Cajarmarca, the capital of the mountainous region — was destroyed as part of the mine project and the family’s attempts to rebuild have been blocked several times since 2011. More

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