Mining license’s cancellation ends Huaraz strikes

Minera Centauro criticized the government after their exploring license was cancelled, reported La República.

Oswaldo Sánchez, a representative from Centauro, said “the government has made decisions based on false information provided by
the Defense [Front of the Conococha Lake] who lied to the people.”

He said the work at Centauro’s operations does not affect the lake. According to Sánchez, “the village of Huambo knows and accepts this.”

A general strike, riots and a highway blockade paralyzed Huaraz for more than a week protesting against a mining concession given to Centauro.

The protesters, organized under the Defense Front of the Conococha Lake, an umbrella organization, argued that the mining company was contaminating the lake which is the water source of the Santa River.

Bus services between Lima and Huaraz were suspended due to a highway blockade on the Pativilca-Huaraz leg. Trucks transporting goods were also stranded and produce started to rot. As a result a critical supply shortage affected hundreds of businesses in Huaraz.

Last Monday, Willy Cadillo Vergara died during a violent confrontation with Peru’s National Police members.

The government decided to cancel Centauro’s permit. As a result the agrarian and farming organizations announced a cease of all blockades for a period of five days until a dialogue table is installed.

President Alan García said the strike against Centauro was provoked by “certain political sectors that take advantage of the misinformation.”

García denied the lack of dialogue as some Front representatives complained about in the past days.

“They use this argument all the time. For these people dialogue means: canceling all mining operations, punish the company, bring a minister and let’s talk,” said García.

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