Protests against Tía María Copper mine (Peru): 5 people dead

Since March 2015 there have been continued protests in the South of Peru against the Tía María project, a copper mine in Moquegua Region.

After a fifth person has died in the erupting violence, the Peruvian government has declared a state of emergency for 60 days starting May 23rd 2015 in the southern province of Islay.1

The $1.4 billion copper mining project by the Southern Copper Corporation (SCC) has sparked great outrage in the farming population of Peru. SCC is part of the Grupo Mexico and their main revenue is generated from copper mining in Peru and Mexico.2

The farmers fear for their scarce water supplies to be polluted and their crop to be covered in dust due to the mining. There have been demonstrations, road blockages, and a 2-day strike (May 27th/28th 2015) in the southern regions after unions have started supporting the protests.

Peru’s Energy and Mines Ministry and the Minister of the Environment Manuel Pulgar-Vidal have addressed the issue and declared the project as “safe for the environment”.3

In August 2014 an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was presented by Southern Copper and the project approved by the government. Despite these efforts, Peruvian farmers are outraged and have managed to put the building process on hold. Their concerns are not without evidence. “The coastal town Ilo, where the company’s smelter refines minerals from Toquepala and Cuajone, has serious pollution problems.”4


  1. http://www.mining.com/state-of-emergency-in-peru-as-anti-mining-violence-leaves-4-dead-dozens-arrested/?utm_source=digest-en-mining-150525&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=digest (accessed 01.06.2015) []
  2. http://www.southernperu.com/ENG/about/Pages/PGGlance.aspx (accessed 01.06.2015) []
  3. http://www.mining.com/southern-coppers-tia-maria-safe-environment-peru-minister/ (accessed 02.06.2015) []
  4. http://www.peruviantimes.com/23/tia-maria-govt-declares-state-of-emergency-in-islay-arequipa/24237/ (accessed 02.06.2015) []
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