Peru: police officer killed in metal worker protest

An officer of Peru’s National Police was killed Sept. 22 as protesting metal workers clashed with security forces at La Oroya in Junin region. Several miners were also injured, and one later died in the hospital after breathing tear gas. The workers were blocking roads to demand more time for the local smelter to comply with a clean-up plan (known as the Environmental Adjustment and Management Program, or PAMA). Doe Run Peru, owned by the US-based Renco Group, stopped production at the smelter in June, after banks cut off credit. The company says an extension of the PAMA deadline, set to run out next month, is critical to getting enough international credit to resume operations. Almost 20,000 jobs are at stake in La Oroya, considered to be one of the most polluted towns in the world. Peru’s Congress voted to give the company a 30-month extension in the wake of the violence. (RPP, Reuters, Sept. 24; RPP, Sept. 22; Red, Green and Blue, Sept. 5)

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