Peru halts Canada mining operations amid protests
LIMA (AFP) – Peru suspended a Canadian company's mining project in the south of the country on Saturday following intense negotiations in the wake of deadly protests by mostly indigenous anti-mining activists, authorities said.
The government enacted five laws including the revocation of a concession granted to Bear Creek Mining Corporation, which has been a focus of weeks of protests, including an attempt by hundreds of demonstrators Friday to storm an airport in the south of the country.
Prime Minister Rosario Fernandez said the new laws, published in the official gazette El Peruano and which include a 36-month halt to all new mining concessions in Puno province, are aimed at satisfying the demands of locals opposed to mining activity in the region, state news agency Andina said.At least five activists were killed when riot police fired tear gas and live ammunition to keep protesters from taking over the airport in the southern city of Juliaca, in Puno.
The province of Puno has been in the grips of a wave of protests against mining projects in the region, led primarily by the Aymara Indians, a majority ethnic group in this part of the country. Activists have demanded an end to mining activity and oil drilling in Puno, one of Peru's poorest areas, insisting the operations pollute the land and waterways, leave few local benefits, and that the co
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