Three protesters are shot dead and 15 others injured after activists break into a $7.4 billion copper project in the remote Andes to demand more jobs and a better environmental plan. Mana Rabiee reports.
Police tear gas rises above remote Andean hills after clashes between Peruvian miners and police. the violence left at least three people dead and 15 others injured. The protesters had broken into the massive La Bambas copper mine owned by China's MMG. They were demanding the company hire more locals for its multi-billion dollar project AND improve its environmental plan. The protests started on Friday, and some 1,500 police were sent to the zone in case of trouble. President Ollanta Humala, who visited the mine, says radical groups from outside the area provoked the unrest. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PERU'S PRESIDENT, OLLANTA HUMALA, SAYING: "What we have is that people in fact have diverted away from what would be a normal protest. Apparently, they tried to enter or had entered reserved areas at the mine and that is where the clashes took place." The injured were taken to hospital, many reportedly with gunshot wounds. Some protesters say police were firing live ammunition. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED INJURED PROTESTER, SAYING: "He was shot in the back with a bullet. All (those injured are) with gunshot wounds." Peru is the world's third biggest copper producer and expects to nearly double its output in the coming years. With La Bambas wrapping up construction, there's less work to go around for residents... frustrated that they're not reaping more benefits of Peru's copper boom.