Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Peru miners lift roadblock for talks after clashes

April 7, 2010

LIMA, Peru (AP)– Independent miners agreed Wednesday to end road blockades
that led to clashes with police and the deaths of six miners, responding
to a government promise to form a joint commission to study the dispute,
an official said.

Emerging from three hours of talks between miner leaders and officials,
Cabinet Chief Javier Velasquez said the new panel will include miners in
its effort to develop a national plan for regularizing wildcat mining.

The clashes began after the government moved to impose rules on
unregulated gold mining that it says is ruining the environment in Peru's
Amazon jungle.

Miners began the highway blockade Sunday, stranding more than 1,000
vehicles in southeastern Peru. Attempts by police to force the protesters
off the road sparked clashes in which six miners were shot to death.

Velasquez said the formation of the comission will ensure that miners will
be heard.

"This strengthens democracy. There are no winners or losers," he said.

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