10,000 protest in Puno against mines

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LivinginPeru.com

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Strikers gather in Puno’s main plaza. (Photo: Andina)

The strike continues against mining concessions, lasting more than 15 days and involving thousands of villagers in southern Puno, reports Peru.21.

An estimated 10,000 protesters marched through the streets of the highland capital, from the provinces of Chucuito and Yunguyo, according to estimates of the regional ombudsman, Luz Herquinio.

Herquinio warned that stress is taking over the inhabitants of the city of Puno, as markets remain closed, public transport is not running and school classes have been suspended until tomorrow, the day a solution to social conflict is expected.

Deputy Minister of Mines, Fernando Gala, said this morning that the strike in Puno is not justified because they have implemented specific actions such as the declaration of Kaphia hill as a National Cultural Heritage site.

"The issue is solved in Yunguyo, what would be the remaining issue is the subject of Santa Ana in Chucuito," he told RPP.

The regional Chamber of Commerce estimated that up to now the department has lost $20 million from the strike. Mining activity is one of the most important in Puno, and in 2010 it received $96 million from mining royalties. The Ministry of Energy and Mines estimates that there are about 20 mining projects in the area.

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