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Peruvian anti-mining protests escalate

Saturday, May 28, 2011 - 01:34

May 29 - Indigenous activists burn a customs building and ransack immigration offices in Peru, protesting against a new mine in near-by Bolivia. Sunita Rappai reports

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The aftermath of angry protests by Peruvian activists in the city of Puno, on Peru's border with Bolivia. This customs building was set on fire while equipment in the immigration office was burnt and destroyed. Around 5,000 protesters have gathered here to demand concessions granted to mining companies be revoked. They say the mining industry is not compatible with farming and fishing - the main sources of income for many - and will contaminate their land. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DANIEL YUJRA QUISPE, AYMARA PROTEST LEADER AND DESAGUADERO RESIDENT, SAYING: "We ask that the Santa Ana's concession under Supreme Decree 083 be annulled. We are also asking for all mining concessions to be taken away because we are a fishing and farming zone and we live from cattle." Roads to neighbouring Bolivia have also been blocked, paralyzing commerce and leaving several trucks stranded. President Alan Garcia has authorized the army to help maintain order but it has yet to use force. The country faces a presidential poll in just ten days - and Garcia has vowed not to stop the protests until after the elections. Sunita Rappai, Reuters

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Peruvian anti-mining protests escalate

Saturday, May 28, 2011 - 01:34