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  HOME | Peru

Death Toll in Peru Mining Protest Climbs to 5

LIMA – A man wounded two days ago during protests against a massive mining project in northwestern Peru died Thursday, bringing the death toll from the disturbances to five.

Jose Antonio Sanchez Huaman, 29, had been in a coma since he was shot Tuesday in the city of Celendin, a spokesman for the Cajamarca regional health department told Canal N television.

Cajamarca President Gregorio Santos, a leader of opposition to the Conga gold mine project, went on Twitter to announce Sanchez’s death and to blame the national government for the fatalities.

“The victims of the government of OH (Peruvian President Ollanta Humala) are five,” Santos said.

Tuesday’s clash in Celendin left three people dead and a score of others wounded, while another person was killed the following day amid protests in the town of Bambamarca.

Humala gave the green light for the controversial Conga project in April, but only on condition the mine operators meet conditions aimed at mitigating its environmental impact.

Humala said the Minera Yanacocha consortium – led by Colorado-based Newmont Mining – will have to ensure the availability and quality of water supplies in the area surrounding Conga.

Activists in Cajamarca said the conditions laid down by Lima are not sufficient to avert irreparable environmental damage.

Plans for the $4.8 billion project include draining four alpine lakes to develop subsoil gold deposits and replacing them with artificial reservoirs, a process that is scheduled to get under way soon. EFE
 

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