The campsite at Glencore’s Antapaccay copper mine in southern Peru was vandalized by a group of people protesting against the country’s new president and demanding a general election.
According to local media, the incident took place on Friday morning when the protesters broke into the site’s water plant and set the facility on fire. The plant provides drinking water to over 6,000 people in nearby communities.
The Peruvian press pointed out that the company reported the incident to the police and asked for increased security measures around Antapaccay but their claims went unheard. Most national police officers have been deployed in the cities of Puno, Juliaca and Cusco as the government attempts to contain protests sprouting in different areas.
Given this response, Glencore issued a communiqué stating that management decided to evacuate most of the 2,400 people that were at the mining camp, among them staff and contract workers. Only essential personnel needed to maintain basic operations going will remain at the site.
Friday’s attack was not the first of its kind.
Glencore reported that on Thursday at noon, criminals forced their entry into Antapaccay, burned two vehicles and trashed the accommodations used by overnight workers.
The president of the 11 Indigenous communities in Anttapacay’s area of influence, Flavio Huanqque, told La República newspaper that none of his communities participated in any of the attacks.
These and other demonstrations taking place across the Andean country pose a challenge to new President Dina Boluarte, as she tries to restore calm after the ousting of former President Pedro Castillo late last year.