|Walter Aduviri talks to media in Puno a few weeks ago. (Photo: Living in Peru archive)|
Police tried to stop the Aymara leader Walter Aduviri, who has had warrant out for his arrest since May 9, after giving an interview Wednesday morning on "Buenos Días Peru."
After entering the premises of Panamericana Televisión a colonel asked him to accompany him. Aduviri replied "No, thanks." The officer requested that asylum not be provided within the building, but the Aymara leader continues to resist arrest by the national police.
"If I give in, we could have more fighting," he told Canal N.
Aduviri said the arrest warrant against him has "no legal basis or support because they have no evidence."
"My hands are not stained with blood and my conscience is clean. The Aymara people and I don’t owe anybody anything," he added.
In addition, the Aduviri said that the acts of vandalism that occurred during the protests in Puno were cause by infiltrators. He says he has all the evidence to show that he has no responsibility for the acts of violence that occurred in the city of Puno as part of the strikes against the mining concessions in the region. In addition he was optimistic that his lawyers will solve all charges brought against him.
"I only asked for the protection of our natural resources," said the leader, who remains inside the television station on Arequipa Avenue in Lima.
He also reiterated the demands of the strikers, saying they want the cessation of mining concessions in the southern region of Puno, the cancellation of oil concessions and the halt of work on the hydroelectric project Inambari. In addition, they want charges against demonstrators and strike leaders to be dropped.
The government has already temporarily cancelled the concession for the Inambari project as well as declared a 12 month freeze on all mining activity.