UPDATE 1-Peru natural gas protests leave at least one dead, dozens injured

miércoles 11 de febrero de 2015 15:37 GYT

(Adds reactions, details)

LIMA Feb 11 (Reuters) - At least one person was killed and dozens injured in protests against natural gas exploration in a Peruvian jungle town, authorities and leaders said on Wednesday.

Violence broke out after protesters in the town of Pichanaki, 270 km (165 miles) east of Lima, tried to seize a police station and military barracks late on Tuesday, said Jose Luis Alvarez, a senior official in Peru's Cabinet.

"Obviously there was a reaction to dissuade the protesters and that produced this unfortunate result," Alvarez said on local broadcaster RPP.

Protesters demanding that Argentine energy company Pluspetrol leave the remote jungle region broke into Pluspetrol facilities on military land, destroying two tents and taking a water pump, the army said.

The Interior Ministry said a 22-year-old man died after apparently being shot and that at least 37 civilians and 38 police officers were injured. It said the police did not carry firearms.

But an organizer of the protest, Carlos Echevarria, said three protesters had been killed after police fired live bullets into crowds.

Clashes with police continued on Wednesday, with more locals joining street demonstrations, said Echevarria, who heads an activist group.

"The situation is really bad here," he said by telephone.   Continuación...