One Killed, Two Injured in Peru Mining Clashes

Peruvian national police in riot gear,. (Image: Miguel Vera León, CC BY SA 2.0)
Peruvian national police in riot gear,. (Image: Miguel Vera León, CC BY SA 2.0)

Top Story — One person was killed and two were injured in Peru on Tuesday, as protesters clashed with police during demonstrations against a $1.4 billion copper mining project.

The fatality is the second in two weeks in the region of Arequipa over the Tía María project. The venture by the Mexican-owned Southern Copper Corporation has been on hold since 2011 when three protesters were killed, Reuters reported. Protesters, the news service reported, have expressed concerns about the project’s impact on local water supplies, a concern which has persisted despite the firm’s agreement last year to build a desalination plant.

After a protester died of a bullet wound on April 22, Peru’s interior minister José Luis Peréz Guadalupe replaced a local police chief, ordering his replacement not to use deadly force against demonstrators, according to Reuters. According to El Comercio, the police announced that the protester killed on Tuesday had a wound from a shotgun. A local mayor, who has spoken out against the project, told Reuters the death could escalate tensions and galvanize opposition.

The economy of Peru, the world’s 3rd-largest exporter of copper, depends heavily on mining, its main overall export.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America

  • An accident on an oil rig from Mexican state oil company Pemex killed two workers and injured 10 on Tuesday, after one of the rig’s legs collapsed, according to officials.
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton said she would prioritize immigration reform and create a clear path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants during a roundtable discussion Tuesday, setting herself apart from potential Republican rivals.

Caribbean

  • The U.S. Treasury Department issued licenses Tuesday to at least two ferry companies to offer travel services between Miami and Havana within the coming months.
  • Cuban President Raúl Castro and Pope Francis will meet in the Vatican on Sunday for “strictly private talks,” according to a spokesman, ahead of the Pope’s visit to Cuba in September.
  • Cuban gay rights activists are planning a mass wedding in Havana as part of the country’s annual gay pride parade, a symbolic event in a country where gay marrige is not yet legal to be lead by President Raúl Castro’s daughter, herself a prominent gay and transgender right’s activist.
  • Further details regarding Puerto Rico’s medical marijuana law have been announced, with government officials clarifying that smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes will remain prohibited, although cannabis derivatives, such as potions or pills, would be permitted.

Central America

  • The so-called “Queen of the South,” a Guatemalan woman described as “one of the most prolific narcotics traffickers in Central America”, was secretly sentenced in the United States after agreeing to offer information and plead guilty in exchange for a temporarily undisclosed sentence and release date.

Andes

  • Importers in Venezuela have taken advantage of the country’s currency system for years by charging inflated prices for goods brought into the country or even faking shipments altogether, and pocketing the difference, adding up to tens of billions of dollars, reports the New York Times.
  • The sale of domestic rum in Venezuela has recently gone up, owing to the economic crisis and the inflation which has caused the price of luxury imported whiskey to spike.
  • Meanwhile, Colombian immigrants who moved to Venezuela in the last several decades to make a living during that country’s oil boom are now returning en masse to their country of origin, as the decline in global oil prices has strained Venezuela’s economy over the last year.

Southern Cone

  • Three Brazilian aviation workers charged with “endangering air transportation safety” have been acquitted over the 2007 crash of a TAM Airlines jetliner at São Paulo’s Congonhas airport which killed 199 people.
  • Nine Brazilian states are experiencing epidemic levels of dengue fever, with one of the hardest-hit states being it’s most populous — São Paulo — where cases of the mosquito-borne disease have tripled in the last year.

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