Peruvian police arrest mayor over mining protests

AP News
Posted: May 30, 2012 10:46 PM
Peruvian police arrest mayor over mining protests

Peruvian police have arrested the mayor of a highlands town accused of promoting anti-mining protests in which two people died this week.

It was the second arrest of a leader of the protests, which prompted the government to declare a 30-day emergency suspending civil liberties in Espinar province.

Regional Police Chief Gaston Rodriguez says Mayor Oscar Mollohuanca is among seven people taken into custody since the emergency was announced Monday. TV images showed dozens of riot police entering his offices.

Peasants in the region have been protesting against the Tintaya copper mine owned by Swiss-based Xstrata. They contend it threatens their water supplies and livestock.

Xstrata denies the mine pollutes.

(This version CORRECTS spelling of mine to 'Tintaya' instead of 'Tinaya.')