President Ollanta Humala (pictured), who was elected on a platform promising to rein in the mining giants, is facing multiple protests in Peru and is losing allies over his perceived support for controversial mining projects.
When Peruvian President Ollanta Humala came to power a year ago, he promised to bend international mining companies to the will of Peruvians. But as he works to resolve two major mining disputes in his country, the left-leaning nationalist is increasingly at odds with many of his own allies over what they perceive to be his failure to deliver on electoral promises.
However, with the mining industry accounting for 60% of the country’s export earnings, 49-year-old Humala faces a difficult crossroads.
The president was forced last week to publicly back his own prime minister, Oscar Valdes, who had been urged to resign by some lawmakers of the president’s own Gana Peru party. 63-year-old Valdes, a former military man, was blasted for what many observers called a repressive crackdown on anti-mining protests in the southern Espinar region near the city of Cuzco.
THE TINTAYA MINE (CLICK TO ENLARGE)
Espinar is not the only region where tensions over mining practices are running high. Workers and activists have also kicked off a general strike in the northern region of Cajamarca, calling on the government to halt the launch of a new open-pit gold and copper mine.
An open-pit problem
Date created : 2012-06-03