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Peru declares emergency in south

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Anti-government protesters clash with police in Tacna

The Prime Minister of Peru, Yehude Simon, says he will not negotiate with authorities in the southern Tacna region while violent protests continue.

Mr Simon has declared a state of emergency after reports that three people have been killed and dozens injured in protests over the past week.

The demonstrations were sparked by a new legislation approved by Congress.

The bill cuts the amount of mining tax revenues given to Tacna, in favour of neighbouring region Moquegua.

President Alan Garcia is expected to sign the bill into law.

The law has been controversial in the south of Peru, where most of the mines are run by Southern Copper, one of the world's largest mining companies.

Clashes

The violent protests started last Thursday when 4,000 demonstrators clashed with police and set fire to a government building leaving 39 people and 27 police injured.

Protesters clash with local police in Tacna (30 October 2008)
Tacna has seen a week of protests

The government has sent the army to rein in protests and police have arrested 52 protestors.

The protests extended to the border area with Chile where 400 demonstrators blocked the Pan-American Highway and Chilean police arrested seven people.

Peru's mining sector is capitalising on high metals prices, driven by demand from China and India.

But the export-based economy largely benefits the main cities on the coast while in the Andean and Amazon interior many people still live in poverty.



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SEE ALSO
Country profile: Peru
18 Oct 08 |  Country profiles
Anti-government protests hit Peru
10 Jul 08 |  Americas


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