Peru’s mining south, rocked by violence, braces for ‘endless battle’ – by Marco Aquino (Reuters – January 10, 2023)

LIMA, Jan 10 (Reuters) – In Peru’s south, a mining region that has been roiled by deadly protests over the ouster of former leftist President Pedro Castillo, protest leaders say they are ready for an “endless battle” against the government, threatening to destabilize the deeply divided Andean nation.

Seventeen protesters were killed on Monday in the southern province of Puno in the worst day of violence since Castillo’s Dec. 7 dramatic removal, which has seen a total of 39 people killed in protests and seven more in related accidents.

The anger in the Andean south looks likely to harden, protest leaders told Reuters, a major risk to firms in the world’s no. 2 copper producer, home to large mines including MMG Ltd’s (1208.HK) Las Bambas and Freeport-McMoRan’s Cerro Verde.

“This is an endless battle,” said Edgar Chura, leader of the Puno Defense Front protest group before the Monday clashes, a view shared by other protest leaders who spoke with Reuters.

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