Peruvian police Wednesday reported that they had evicted indigenous protesters from MMG’s Las Bambas copper mine. This eviction resulted in at least three people injured and 11 people arrested.
Police clashed with protesters who had occupied the Las Bambas mining camp and who belong to the Fuerabamba indigenous community in the Apurimac region. The protesters claimed that the Chinese operator MMG, owner of the Las Bambas copper mining company, failed to comply with its social investment commitments.
The police reported via Twitter that General Roger Pérez, in command of 676 troops from the Apurímac Police Region, managed to recover all the invaded properties of the Las Bambas mining company. However, two women and a worker from Las Bambas were injured and taken to the Challhuahuacho health center. In addition, 11 people were detained. There was also material damage to private property reported.
Edison Vargas, President of the Fuerabamba indigenous community, said that there are approximately 600 people that Las Bambas has brought from Lima and that they are still in the disputed area. In an interview given to Convoca.pe, Vargas said:
Since they are from Lima, they have never had that opportunity to confront. Right now, when the police are shooting, it has shocked the brothers. From inside they are asking for help, but the company does not want them to leave. The companions continue, but they no longer want to be there. The mining company is not allowing them to leave, it wants them to continue in the protest against the community members, but they do not want to continue.
Likewise, Vargas stated that “all the community members have already decided that Las Bambas is not going. Las Bambas closes here, yes or yes, [the indigenous] already want to recover their land. The miner has not complied. The one that is to blame is the Las Bambas mining company.”