Peru Says Pregnant Women Could Face Jail Time For Protesting

June 20, 2012 7:00 am 0 comments
Peru Says Pregnant Women Could Face Jail Time For Protesting

A women's group protests against the Conga mining project in Cajamarca, Peru.

Top Story — The Peruvian government on Tuesday threatened to arrest pregnant women participating in a protest march against the U.S.-based Newmont’s $4.8 billion Conga mining project, based on a claim that their political activity would be harmful to their unborn children. “The participation of pregnant women in public protests is intolerable and cannot be justified … this puts the body and the health of the fetus at risk,” said Peru’s minister of women and vulnerable populations, Ana Jara. Jara cited a section of the Peruvian penal code that says anyone found guilty of mistreating a fetus could face three years in jail, and argued that marchers are using pregnant women to deter police from breaking up their protest. “We aren’t going to sit here and do nothing … we have coordinated with the attorney general’s office to guarantee the integrity of the babies,” Jara said. Critics ridiculed Jara’s statements and dozens of pregnant women marched in Cajamarca on Tuesday nonetheless. Opponents of the Conga mine, who have been protesting for twenty days, say that the project will contaminate the region’s water supply and cause pollution. The project has been stalled since November over environmental concerns.

Read more from Reuters.

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  • A 13 year-old Mexican boy identified three Guatemalans who allegedly kidnapped him from Chiapas  and held him for ransom for 38 days in northwestern Guatemala. The child was reportedly tortured in an effort to extract more money from his family, and was rescued in an operation last November.
  • Tuesday was the 100th day of a gang truce brokered between the rival MS-13(Mara Salvatrucha) and Barrio 18 gangs, and the National Police report that monthly homicide rates have decreased dramatically over last year’s figures.
  • Panamanian congressmen got into a fistfight over a bill that would allow the Panamanian state to sell its 49 percent of shares in telephone and energy companies.

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Image: ricardove04 @ Flickr.

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