Peru: miners block Pan-American Highway

Informal miners in Peru’s southern Arequipa region declared an open-ended paro (civil strike) Feb. 6, briefly blocking the Pan-American Highway at various points before being cleared by the National Police. Hundreds of miners armed with sticks gathered at several villages along the highway, erecting barricades to press thier demands for “formalization” of their mineral claims and a system of social security including a pension plan. The largest protest was in Ocoña, Camaná province, where some 2,000 marched. The srtike is being coordinated by the National Confederation of Artisenal Miners of Peru (CONAMI). (Sin Patrones, Feb. 6)