With three provinces of Peru’s northern Cajamarca region under a state of emergency, police again fired on protesters July 4 in Bambamarca, seat of Hualgayoc province, leaving one man dead. Another six were wounded, at least some gravely, although accounts do not make clear if the wounds are from bullets. Authorities said one National Police officer was also injured in the confrontation in the town’s Plaza de Armas. (Perú21, Peru.com, Sociedad Política, July 4) Meanwhile in Cajamarca’s regional capital, protest leader Marco Arana was detained by police troops for continuing to call public meetings despite emergency measures restricting freedom of assembly. Arana was reportedly accosted by police while sitting on a bench in the city’s central square, the Plaza de Armas. He is still being held at the city’s National Police headquarters, but did manage to get out a Twitter message saying he had been badly roughed up in custody—struck in the face and kidneys, and verbally insulted. (La Republica, 24 Horas, Radio Nacional, El Comercio, RPP, July 4)
The day before his arrest, Arana’s political organization Tierra y Libertad had issued a statement in response to that day’s killing of three protesters in Celendín province, expressing solidarity with the families of the slain, and pointing out that a total of 15 have been killed in social conflicts nationwide since President Ollanta Humala took power last year. Refering to the gold-mining project that has occasioned the Cajamarca protests, the statement warned Humala: “You cannot impose the Conga project with deaths, injuries, detentions, states of emergency and more violence.” (La Republica, July 4)
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Marco Arana freed
After being held several hours, Marco Arana was freed late at night, with an order to appear before judicial authorities in Chiclayo—continuing with the new government tactic of opening cases against protesters in different regions from those in which they are arrested. (RPP, July 5) Street clashes meanwhile continue in Cajamarca city, with National Police using tear-gas against protesting students and teachers. (La Republica, July 5)
Fifth fatality in Cajamarca protests
A 29-year-old man who was shot by police two days earlier in Celendín died in the hospital in Cajamarca city July 6, bringing the total killed in two days of violence in the region to five. Protest organizers said he had been initially denied medical attention as police sought to bring him to Chiclayo in neighboring Lamayeque region along with other demonstrators detained in Celendín. (CongaEuropa blog, July 5)