Security & Strategic Review - June 2022

PERU: Las Bambas shutdown prompts harder stance on mining protests

The seemingly intractable dispute over the Las Bambas copper mine in Peru’s Apurímac region has flared again, with the mine forced into a shutdown and President Pedro Castillo declaring a state of emergency in response to dogged anti-mining protests by local residents. Whilst protests at Las Bambas are not new, the latest wave of unrest has been more intense than in recent years. A cabinet reshuffle on 22 May saw the mining and interior ministers replaced, but it remains doubtful whether that shake-up will be sufficient to break the impasse. Meanwhile, Castillo appears to have rowed back on his early support for anti-mining activists, as the political and economic fallout from Las Bambas’ closure continues to escalate.

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