Peru: Anti-mining strikes in Arequipa continue into second day

Hundreds of anti-mining protesters marched for the second day in Arequipa, Thursday, to protest against the Southern Copper Corporation's $ 1.5 billion (€ 1.37 billion) Tia Maria mining project. The protests coincided with the second day of a 48-hour trade union strike taking place in as many as nine southern states in Peru. The strikes were called in support of residents and farmers in the Tambo Valley who are concerned that the mining project will pollute key waterways and foul the air in the region. The protesters gathered in Arequipa's historic main square, the Plaza de Armas, carrying banners and signs condemning the mining project, before marching through the old city. The 48-hour strike began on Wednesday. The last two months has seen anti-mining demonstrations turn bloody in the town of Islay with at least five civilians killed, prompting authorities to impose martial law. Peru deployed the army and extra police to Arequipa for the 48-hour strike period, but no clashes were reported and the event remained relatively peaceful.