One killed, 18 injured in protests over Majes Siguas II irrigation project

At least one person has been killed and 18 injured during a confrontation over the Majes Siguas II irrigation project between residents in Espinar, a province located in Cuzco deparment, Radioprogramas reported.

A representative from Peru’s ombudsman – the Defensoria del Pueblo – said the conflict erupted last night when police fired gas bombs in an attempt to disperse protesters.

The 18 people who have been injured are receiving medical treatment at different health centers in the area, while three of the injured were transferred to Arequipa.

Peru’s recently appointed prime minister, Jose Antonio Chang, said the government is open to talks when residents halt their demonstrations.

The project’s concession holder will design and build the Angostura dam, water transfer tunnels, and a distribution network that will irrigate 38,500 hectares in Siguas and 8,000 hectares in Majes. The project may require $344 million to finance.

Residents in Espinar are concerned about how the project will affect the availability of water from the Apurimac River.

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