Peru: peasants block roads to demand water rights
In a 24-hour paro (protest campaign) jointly called by the Cusco Irrigation Board and the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Agrarian Federation (FARCTAC), campesinos blocked roads across Peru's Cusco region June 8 to demand the reconstruction of irrigation infrastructure that was destroyed in the heavy rainfalls and floods that devastated the region in January. Access was blocked to the neighboring regions of Apurímac, Puno and Madre de Dios.
Fritz Montalvo, leader of the Irrigation Board, told reporters that the flooding had affected 80% of the irrigation canals in the region's provinces of Urubamba, Anta, Canchis, Quispicanchi, Calca and Cusco. FARCTAC secretary general Fermín Quispe added that the protesters are demanding the government allocate 30 million soles (about $10 million) to repair the infrastructure. Peru's Civil Defense agency has stated that 15,780 irrigation canals were destroyed in the flooding. (Living in Peru blog, Peru21, EFE, June 8)
See also our special report on peasant water struggles in Peru.