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27 May 2015

John Quigley, Bloomberg

Peru: Govt. declares state of emergency at Southern Copper mine, where more deaths & injuries have been reported

“Peru Declares Emergency in Islay after Mine Protest Deaths”

Peru declared a state of emergency in the coastal province of Islay after two months of protests of the construction of Southern Copper Corp.’s Tia Maria mine [part of Grupo Mexico] claimed a fourth life.  The armed forces will help police restore order in Islay for 60 days and some constitutional rights will be suspended, including freedom of transit and the right to hold meetings, according to a statement published Saturday in…El Peruano.  Farmers in Islay began street protests on March 23, saying Southern Copper’s proposed…project in the hills above the Tambo Valley would cause air and water pollution. One civilian died Friday in clashes with police after a group of 400 people sought to block the Pan-American Highway in Islay, Interior Minister Jose Perez told reporters…A local police station was later attacked with dynamite, Perez said…The violence followed a week of calm in the province after Phoenix-based Southern Copper announced a 60-day suspension in the mine project and proposed talks with the local community…Oscar Gonzalez, a spokesman for Tierra y Libertad, a political organization supporting the protests, said the government’s measures are unjustified…