Peru’s government mulls putting Moquegua under state of emergency

Living in Peru
Israel J. Ruiz

As Peru’s Ministry of Defense evaluates putting the region of Moquegua under a state of emergency, Prime Minister Jorge del Castillo holds a second meeting with Jaime Rodriguez, the governor of the region.

Since 20,000 protestors have refused to release national police general Alberto Jordan and 59 national police officers, Minister of Defense Antero Flores-Araoz has affirmed that the government is seriously considering placing the region under a state of emergency.

In Lima, Del Castillo has reiterated that the government wants to find a peaceful solution to issues Moqueguans have raised, the principal of which involves the distribution of royalties paid by Southern Peru Copper mining company.

The region of Moquegua receives approximately 200 million soles in tax revenue while Tacna receives 700 million.

The Premier began a meeting this morning in Miraflores with the governor of Moquegua as well as with provincial and district mayors.

After yesterday’s meeting, Moqueguan authorities asked protesters to clear blockades and allow vehicles to use bridges and have access to the region as well as to Tacna.

Not all Moqueguan authorities agree however, there are currently 15 mayors which have been on a hunger strike since last week.

They have affirmed that they will continue until the government has passed bills that will financially benefit the region.

The general manager of Tacna’s Chamber of Commerce stated Tuesday morning that the region is losing over 3.3 million soles a day because of blocked roads and riots.

Tuesday is the eighth day of protests in Moquegua.