As Anti-Mining Protests Escalate, Peru’s Vizcarra Sides With Mining Companies

Farmers opposed to the Tia Maria open-pit mine, which they fear will contaminate irrigation water in the farming-rich Tambo valley, march in Cocachacra, Peru, May 15, 2015 (AP photo by Martin Mejia).
Farmers opposed to the Tia Maria open-pit mine, which they fear will contaminate irrigation water in the farming-rich Tambo valley, march in Cocachacra, Peru, May 15, 2015 (AP photo by Martin Mejia).
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In mid-October, Peruvian authorities declared a 30-day state of emergency in the copper-rich province of Chumbivilcas, where anti-mining protesters had blocked a stretch of a vital highway called the Southern Runway for almost a month. The blockade, led by indigenous farmers and laborers known as comuneros, caused major disruptions to local commerce and large-scale mining efforts nearby, and nearly forced a halt in operations at Las Bambas, one of Peru’s largest copper mines. It was just the latest in a series of anti-mining protests by comuneros in Peru this year, which have held up hundreds of millions of dollars in […]

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