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6 killed during protest by miners in Peru

 In this photo courtesy of Peru21 newspaper, a woman reacts next to bodies of miners who were killed during clashes with police in Arequipa, Peru, Sun...

Peru Minning Protest

In this photo courtesy of Peru21 newspaper, a woman reacts next to bodies of miners who were killed during clashes with police in Arequipa, Peru, Sun...

Clashes between police and protesting miners have killed six miners as Peru's government tries to put restrictions on unregulated gold mining that it says is ravaging the environment in the Amazon rain forest.
The main highway in the southern district of Chala was blocked by thousands of miners Monday for a second day, leaving hundreds of cars and buses stranded.
Attempts by police to force the protesters off the road sparked clashes Sunday in which six miners were shot to death, district official Luisa Llerena said. She said that 27 people were injured, including four police officers, and that one 87-year-old woman on a stopped bus died of a heart attack.
Authorities said 30 people were detained during the protest.
Peruvian President Alan Garcia on Monday defended a decree that aims to crack down on rampant unregulated mining in the southern jungle region of Madre de Dios.
"How are we going to explain that we allow a savage mining (industry) that does not pay taxes, that does not pay wages, that doesn't use modern technologies?" Garcia said. "How can we be signing projects to obtain wind-powered energy, which is clean, and allow at the same time the pollution of the Peruvian Amazon?"
He said photographs of the rivers in the area reveal they have been discolored by large amounts of mercury thrown into the water by gold miners. The remote forests of Madre de Dios are home to a wealth of wildlife.
Thousands of independent miners in Madre de Dios took to the streets to peacefully protest the new rules restricting mining. But the protests turned violent elsewhere in Chala.
Prime Minister Javier Valasquez accused some Russian and Brazilian gold dealers of paying the protesters, though he did not identify them.
The government plans to send air force planes to help transport those stranded by the protest, Environment Minister Antonio Brack said.
He has said more than 44,000 acres (18,000 hectares) of Amazon forest have disappeared and an additional 988,000 acres (400,000 hectares) are at risk in the Madre de Dios region due to uncontrolled mining.
The government decree that has sparked the protests suspends mining concessions, creates zones where no mining is permitted and bars the use of small-scale mining tools that damage the environment.
Protest leaders accuse the government of trying to push them out and take away the livelihoods of those who subsist on small-scale mining.


Updated : 2021-04-11 12:40 GMT+08:00