70 police, general taken hostage in Peru mining protestJune 17th, 2008 - 2:08 pm ICT by IANS
Lima, June 17 (DPA) Demonstrators in southern Peru have taken about 70 police personnel and an officer hostage and barricaded themselves at a cathedral in the city of Moquegua in their fight for a greater share of mining royalties. The officers were dispatched Monday to clear bridges that protesters have blocked since Thursday between the Moquegua and Tacna regions, but they were overpowered by thousands of demonstrators and taken prisoner.
At least 17 people were injured, media reported.
The protesters in Moquegua, about 1,150 km south of Lima, were protesting a new rate of distribution of the royalties from a nearby copper mine operated by Mexico’s Southern Mining Company.
In 2005, Moquegua received about $117.5 million and Tacna about $107 million from the mine, but the mode of calculation was changed, and now Tacna is to receive $245 million and Moquegua $80 million.