Peru: campesinos block roads to protest mining operation

Some 4,000 residents of Islay, in southern Peru, blocked the Panamerican Highway on April 17, cutting off traffic with the Chilean and Bolivian borders, to protest the proposed Tía María copper project, overseen by the Mexican-owned Southern Perú Copper Corporation (SPCC), which they charge places local water sources and the agricultural economy at risk. The protesters suspended the action the following day when Peru’s Defensora del Pueblo (rights ombudsperson) Beatriz Merino traveled to the region to pledge further dialogue on the environmental impacts of the project. President Alan Garcia said the roadblock was the work of a “small minority who practice terrorism.” (EFE, AP, April 18)

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

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