Peru: police fire on Cajamarca campesinos —again

National Police troops in Peru’s northern Cajamarca province on Sept. 17 clashed with residents of Quishuar Corral hamlet who were conducting reconassiance of mountain trails on their communal lands, which they suspected the Yanacocha mining company of illegally closing to facilitate expansion of its operations. Four of the villagers were injured, and two hospitalized. Witnesses said the police troops opened fire without warning with rubber bullets and tear-gas cannisters. (RPP, Sept. 17)

The clash took place as a national Summit of Peoples Affected by Mining opened in the southern city of Arequipa, attended by over 200 representatives of campesino communities throughout Peru’s sierras. Among the headlining speakers was Wilfredo Saavedra, leader of the Cajamarca Environmental Defense Front, who told a rally gathered in the city’s Plaza de Armas: “Enough with our natural resources being preyed upon and the environment of the country being contaminated!”  (La Republica, Sept. 16)

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