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Peru’s government postpones meeting with Las Bambas mine protesters until Tuesday

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Peru’s government postpones meeting with Las Bambas mine protesters until Tuesday

Members of indigenous communities camp on the property of Chinese-owned Las Bambas copper mine, in Las Bambas, Peru April 26, 2022. REUTERS/Angela Ponc

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LIMA, May 7 (Reuters) – The Peruvian government postponed a meeting scheduled for Saturday with the indigenous communities protesting Las Bambas copper mine due to protest leaders taking too long to respond, Prime Minister Anibal Torres said in a signed document. The document was dated Friday, and was seen by Reuters. It stated that government had also faced logistical and weather problems in travel to the conflict zone. According to the letter, the meeting should be scheduled for Tuesday.

Peru, the second largest producer of copper in the world, and Las Bambas owned by China supplies 2%. It is a key part of Peru’s economy as the mine accounts for at least 1 percent of its gross domestic product.

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Both indigenous communities had agreed on Friday to meet with government and mining representatives in a small community outside the current emergency zone. Tambobamba is an alternative location that’s closer to Cuzco and further east. This proposal was also made by the prime minister’s office.

“We are accepting the meeting called for Tuesday, but we are telling (the prime minister) that the meeting be in Pumamarca, as a neutral zone,” Alexander Raul Anglas Quiroz, an adviser to the Huancuire community, told Reuters by telephone.

On April 27, the government declared a state of emergency in several areas surrounding the mine. This order suspends civil liberties like the right of assembly and protest. The police attempted to expel the protesters but failed. read more

Residents of the Fuerabamba and Huancuire communities broke in to part of the mine owned by China’s MMG Ltd (1208.HK) on April 14, forcing Las Bambas to suspend operations. The residents claim that the mining company failed to fulfill its promises. read more

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Report by Marco Aquino and Marcelo Rochabrun in Lima; Writing by Alexander Villegas
Editing by Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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