Peru: anti-mine protesters score victory

Peru’s Ministry of Energy¬†& Mines (MINEM) on Aug. 9¬†officially suspended the license of the giant copper mine planned for¬†Tia Maria, in the agricultural Tambo Valley of Arequipa region. The project had been the focus of years of protest mobilizations by local residents, and a new general strike, dubbed the Paro Macro-Regional, had been declared after MINEM finally issued a construction permit to the project’s developer,¬†Southern Copper Corporation, on July 8.¬†In revoking the permit, MINEM implicitly invoked the protests, saying the “spaces for dialogue had not been generated” before the license was granted. Although the suspesion is indefinite, MINEM chief¬†Francisco Ismodes said a review process for the social impacts of the project should take three months. Before the suspension, the Tambo Valley had been girding for a new wave of repression; days earlier, the Public Ministry issued an order allowing the use of military troops against protesters in the area. (AP via SinEmbergo, Aug. 11; Diario Uno, Diario Uno,¬†Aug. 10;¬†Reuters, Aug. 9; Peoples Dispatch, July 23)

Photo: Diario Uno