Peru Sees Slight Decrease in Social Conflicts, but Tensions Remain High

The number of social conflicts in Peru, often tied to environmental concerns, has declined slightly in June, but still remains high, according to a recent report from Peru’s ombudsman’s office.

In June, there were 223 social conflicts in the Andean country, down from 247 in the same month last year, according to RPP, which cited the report by the Defensoria del Pueblo.

According to the ombudsman, six new conflicts emerged in June, while six others were resolved.

The report found the greatest number of conflicts are in the region of Ancash, at 30, followed by the southern regions of Apurimac, at 24, and Puno at 17.

The ombudsman said that 145 of the conflicts are related to socio-environmental issues, with 105 of them related to mining and 18 to petroleum and gas projects.

Opposition to mining projects from rural farming communities is a major challenge to companies operating in Peru. Conflicts are often over the use of water, and regularly lead to violent conflicts between police and protesters. Many projects, including the $5.0 billion Minas Conga gold and copper deposit in Cajamarca, have been delayed due to protests, which most often become deeply divisive due to poor handling and procrastination by the government in the earlier stages of complaints.

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