Riots break out during Ley de la Selva protest in Junin, Peru

(LIP-ir) — Protests in the province of La Merced escalated today and ended with four injured by gunshot wounds and a military vehicle destroyed after it was set on fire, said an authority from Peru’s Ministry of the Interior Monday afternoon.

Protests, which later became riots, took place in the jungle areas of the Junin region.

Protesters were taking part in a 48-hour strike that had been organized to protest project N° 840/2006, better known as the "Ley de la Selva" or the law of the jungle.

It was reported that the first day of the strike ended with seven people wounded and a military vehicle destroyed after protestors confronted police in the district of Pichanaki, located in the province of Chanchamayo – east of Lima.

According to Mario Jerí, the Central Jungle Peace Commissioner for the Ministry of the Interior, several people were wounded after shots were fired while others, including police officers, were wounded by rocks.

The highway from PichanaKi to Santa Ana has been blocked by protestors, leaving several villages cut off, said a reporter for El Comercio.

The governor of La Merced, Hermes Ponce Torres, said that police backup was to arrive from Huancayo, the capital of the Junin region, to bring the situation under control and clear the highway.

Read our feature: It’s a jungle out there to learn more about the "Ley de la Selva"