• Press Release

Two killed in clashes over Peru mining project

The Peruvian authorities must refrain from using excessive force against people protesting against a large mining project, Amnesty International said today, after two protesters were shot dead and scores were injured in clashes with police.

The clashes came during demonstrations Thursday against the “Tía Maria” mining project in the southern province of Islay, Amnesty International said today.

“The Peruvian authorities must investigate the killings and begin a fair consultation process with those communities that may be affected by the mining project, said Nuria García, Amnesty International’s researcher on Peru

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Another protestor was killed on Monday amid confrontations with police in Islay province.

Eleven other people, including three people officers, were also injured.

The dead protestors are Aurelio Huarcapoma, 50, and Néstor Cerezo Patana, 31. Three protesters have now been killed this week amid the disturbances. Andrés Taype Chuquipima, 22, was reportedly shot dead from behind by police officers on Monday.

The Tambo community in Islay, Arequipa department, have been protesting for two weeks against the development of a mining project by Mexican company Southern Copper that they say will contaminate the water they use for agriculture.

On 27 March, the government authorised the deployment of troops to support the police during the demonstrations in Islay. 

Protests and social unrest within communities who demand their right to consultation in connection with mining and oil industries are widespread in Peru.

In several cases, clashes between police and demonstrators have resulted in dozens of people killed or injured. During some of these protests Amnesty International has documented severe acts of violence and human rights violations.

In June 2009, 33 people, including 23 police officers, were killed and at least 200 people were injured in a confrontation between police and indigenous communities in the department of Amazonas.