LatinNews Daily - 20 May 2022

In brief: Talks between Peru’s gov’t and Las Bambas protesters end in failure

* Negotiations have again broken down between Peru’s government led by President Pedro Castillo and representatives of communities around the Las Bambas copper mine (Apurímac region), where operations have been suspended for a month due to protest action. The latest round of talks failed after Prime Minister Aníbal Torres said that the state of emergency currently in place in the region would only be lifted if protestors abandoned their blockade of the mine. Shortly after declaring these conditions, Torres announced that he had to depart early, causing the mining communities to likewise abandon the meeting in a show of opposition. The negotiations in Pumamarca (Cotabambas province) had been intended to reach a compromise regarding the state of emergency and the ongoing closure of Las Bambas, which is owned by Chinese company MMG. Pressure on the government over the issue has increased with protests recently extending to three major cities, Lima, Arequipa, and Cusco. According to Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros (OCM), a Peruvian NGO which reports on mining conflicts, during the meeting Interior Minister Alfonso Chávarry told the media that “if the talks fail to reach a conclusion, the police will be free to use weapons as the constitution permits”.   

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