Report: Puno protests cost region $117 million

June 29, 2011 1:14 pm1 commentViews: 34

Protests in southern Peru’s Puno region resulted in costs of at least $117 million, daily El Comercio reported.

The major cost of the demonstrations, which began May 9 and lasted for 45 days, was on the tourism sector as a result of some 300,000 travelers cancelling trips.

According to Puno’s regional tourism chamber, Caretur-Puno, the protests cost the sector approximately $100 million.

Tax agency Sunat said damage to its office in Desaguadero, which was sacked by protesters, will cost about $10.7 million to repair. A spokesperson for the tax agency said a warehouse full of confiscated items was also sacked. Twenty-five confiscated vehicles and five Sunat vehicles were destroyed by protesters.

“The reconstruction of both [the office and warehouse] will take about seven months,” the spokesperson said.

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.

Six people were killed in a confrontation with police last week when protesters tried to take the airport in the city of Juliaca.

Meanwhile, the mines and energy ministry (MEM) announced Friday that it would revoke a 2007 supreme decree that gave Bear Creek the Santa Ana concession.

Bear Creek has said it plans to take legal action as a result of the cancellation. In rescinding the decree, the government argued that the political and social situation in Puno had changed.

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1 Comment

  • Tom Henricksen

    Maybe the contraband sales picked up when legitimate business like tourism and mining are slapped in the face – any figures on how illegal drug sales are doing on the border area with Bolivia and Chile ? This subject is also true on the Ecuador border with Peru. Tourism and mining bring “unwanted” authorities and regulations to these border “playground” areas for “plant people”