Juliaca airport authorities look to resume operations following protests

The concessionaire of Juliaca’s Inca Manco Capac airport in Peru’s Puno region, Aeropuertos Andinos del Peru (AAP), has begun work on resuming operations following a deadly clash between police and anti-mining protesters last week that shut down the airport, state news agency Andina reported.

AAP plans to resume operations in coordination with civil aviation authority Corpac once it replaces damaged equipment and ensures necessary security is in place.

Six people were killed when protesters confronted police as they tried to take the airport as part of demonstrations that began May 9 against mining in the region.

Protesters, who were mostly Aymaras from Puno’s southern provinces, had been demanding the cancellation of mining concessions in Puno and the withdrawal of junior Canadian company Bear Creek Mining’s Santa Ana silver project.

After weeks of negotiations between protest leaders and government authorities, the mines and energy ministry (MEM) announced Friday that it would revoke a 2007 supreme decree that gave Bear Creek the Santa Ana concession.

The government was required to issue a supreme decree for Santa Ana in 2007 because the project is located within 50km of the border. Projects that are owned by international firms and that are located within the border zone must be declared a national interest by the government in order to be developed.

In rescinding the decree, the government argued that the political and social situation in Puno had changed.

Bear Creek has said it plans to take legal action as a result of the cancellation.

“The company intends to immediately and vigorously defend its rights at Santa Ana through all available avenues, including provisions under the Canada-Peru free trade agreement and Peruvian appeal processes,” CEO Andrew Swarthout said in a statement.

The situation in Puno is one of more than 200 social conflicts in Peru that were reported by the ombudsman’s office in May.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *