Army deployed over Peru mining project violence

May 9, 2015

LIMA, Perú — Peruvian troops have been deployed to help maintain law and order after weeks of deadly protests over a controversial mining project in the country’s south, the government said Saturday.

A government resolution said the army had been sent into Islay province to “ensure control, maintain internal order and prevent acts of violence” linked to the Tía María copper mine.

Troops would help local police protect local facilities including ports, roads, bridges and tunnels, Justice Minister Gustavo Adrianzén told RPP radio.

The move comes after weeks of violence linked to the mine. A farmer died from gunshot wounds after a clash with police on April 22, while another protester died on May 5.

The unrest claimed a third fatality on Saturday, with confirmation of the death of a policeman who had been injured during a clash with protesters on Wednesday.

A total of 160 police have been injured in protests, according to the Interior Ministry.

Protesters are demonstrating against the project by Mexican-owned copper firm Southern Peru, which they say will pollute their water and damage agriculture.

Local residents, who have opposed the project for years, have been protesting since March 23.

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