Peru lifts state of emergency in region rocked by mining protests

jueves 29 de octubre de 2015 15:35 GYT
 

LIMA, Oct 29 (Reuters) - The government of Peru President
Ollanta Humala said Thursday that it was lifting a state of
emergency to start talks with local leaders over MMG Ltd's
 $7.4 billion Las Bambas copper project.
    The government had suspended civil liberties and authorized
military patrols in the southern Andean regions of Apurimac and
Cusco after three people protesting the massive mine were killed
by police in clashes last month. 
    Local leaders agreed to talks with central government
officials starting Nov. 16, said Interior Minister Jose Luis
Perez.
    "What we want is a peaceful environment for dialogue," Perez
said on local broadcaster RPP. "We're lifting the emergency
declaration today."
    Protesters had demanded that Chinese-owned MMG revise its
environmental plan so that mineral concentrates are piped out of
town. There were also calls for more local hires as construction
work on the mine wraps up.
    MMG has said it was supporting all efforts to promote
dialogue.
    Company and government officials have said the conflict has
not changed the scheduled startup of the mine. MMG has said that
commercial production should begin in May or June.
    Las Bambas is expected to churn out 400,000 tonnes of copper
annually in 2017.
    Conflicts over mining frequently erupt in Peru, the world's
third-largest copper producer.

 (Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)