Peru deploys military to area of deadly anti-mining protests

by Latin Correspondent

Peruvian soldiers: AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd
Peruvian soldiers: AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

Peru’s government has dispatched troops to a violence-wracked southern coastal valley where protests against a copper mining project have claimed the lives of two civilians and a police officer.

Defense Minister Jakke Valakivi told reporters Sunday that the 500 troops sent to reinforce 2,000 police would guard strategic locations including bridges and gas stations.

Two civilians have been killed by police bullets since protests began in late March against the $1.4 billion Tía María project of Mexican-owned Southern Peru Copper. On Saturday, a police officer died. His skull had been fractured by a rock.

Farmers fear the project would contaminate their crops. More...