At least thirty people, including policemen and civilians, were injured during riots in the Andean town of Andahuaylas, in the southeastern region of Abancay, where a meeting was taking place between government officials and citizens of a united front led by farmers calling for the suspension of all mining activities to preserve the environment and water resources of the area.
According to the police chief, Vincenzo Ieva, the clashes occurred during an event that brought together thousands of people in the vicinity of the hospital auditorium where the meeting was being chaired by the Minister of Agriculture, Miguel Caillaux.
Fearing violence “by a group of overly excited ‘enthusiasts’,” reported the local press, the high-level executive delegation withdrew without signing the agreement to cease mining activities. “This decision has rattled farmers, sparking a protest” added the same sources. The police intervened to quell the demonstration using tear gas to counter the rocks launched by protesters who stormed some public buildings.
The protest against mining in Andahuaylas is but the latest social conflict that has erupted in recent weeks in Peru after similar tensions, and for similar reasons, were also reported in Cajamarca and Ancash in the north.