Peru: artisanal miners block highways again

Peru's Minster of Energy and Mines Eleodoro Mayorga announced March 26 that he had formalized an accord with protesting artisanal miners, who have for the past week been blocking the Pan-American Highway at Nazca to protest the end of the "formalization" process for titling their claims. Mayorga said the deal would extend the process through the middle of April. But the leaders of the protesting miners—from the regions of Arequipa, Cajamarca, Ayacucho, La Libertad and Apurímac—denied that any such deal had been struck. Nazca authorities say the roadblocks have caused massive losses in the region's tourism industry. More than 20,000 informal miners are also protesting in the regions of Piura, Ica, Arequipa, Puno, and Lima (EFE, March 26; Peru This Week, March 25)