Twenty-Four Hour Strike Against MINSUR Mining Operations in the Community of Vilavilani, TacnaPublished by MAC on 2007-06-23
Twenty-Four Hour Strike Against MINSUR Mining Operations in the Community of Vilavilani, Tacna
By Alberto Vega -- Radio Uno, 14 June
Tacna, Peru (CNR) -- One police officer was injured and five persons have been arrested so far in a series of incidents taking place this morning in the town center of Tacna, as part of a twenty four hour strike against mining operations that the company Minera del Sur (MINSUR) intends to carry out in the community of Vilavilani, in the district of Palca. Some three thousand persons participated in the march called by the Front for Struggle in Defense of the Environment of Tacna. University students, retired persons, members of water boards and representatives of various unions participated in the demonstration. Several groups of picketers ranged through the streets of the city, obliging the few stores that were open to shut their doors.
The mining firm MINSUR organized a public hearing in Vilavilani, so residents could be informed of the details of the Pucamarca project and decide if they accept or not the presence of the mining firm. The location is guarded by a heavy police presence because of the possibility of violent incidents. Many sectors of society have warned that the gold mining operation Pucamarca could put the lives of the 300,000 residents of the department into risk, as the mining activities demand a huge volume of water that is currently destined towards human and agricultural consumption. This past January, the Regional Board of Agriculture of Tacna ordered the suspension of the license awarded to the company to extract water in three wells in the district of Palca and the ceasing of their operations in Pucamarca.