Peru: 25 injured as peasants block access to copper mine

At least 25 were injured on Sept. 25 as National Police fired shotguns and tear-gas bombs on protesters blocking access to the Toquepala copper mine in Peru’s southern region of Tacna. Some 100 were also detained. Campesinos from the nearby villages of Huaytire, Camilaca and Cairani gathered at the mine site following public hearings for an environmental impact statement on plans to expand operations at the mine. In a paro, or civic strike, called to protest the expansion plans, schools and public transportation in the city of Tacna were also shut down for 48 hours. The mine is owned by Southern Peru Copper Corporation, a holding of the giant Grupo Mexico, and hopes to expand operations in order to begin exports to China. (RPP, Sept. 22; Mariátegui blog, Lima, Sept. 21; Reuters, Sept. 14)

See our last posts on Peru, the mineral cartel and China in Latin America.

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