Some 8,000 unregulated miners in southern Peru launched an indefinite strike on Tuesday to protest government measures to formalize their activities, daily Peru.21 reported.
Members of the National Federation of Artisan Miners of Peru (Fenamarpe) were protesting in the regions of Ica, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Apurimac and Cusco.
Some of the miners had blocked a section of the important Panamericana Sur highway. A group of about 200 police officers were able to remove the miners from the highway.
Protests by unregulated miners have become common in Peru, and have often turned violent when demonstrators clash with police.
Government efforts to bring their activities under control have largely failed until now.
Unregulated mining has been responsible for serious environmental damage in the Amazon, mainly the south-eastern region of Madre de Dios.