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Police, striking miners clash in Peru, 11 injured

March 22, 2014

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Thousands of police have used tear gas to open a section of the Pan-American Highway in Peru that had been blocked by striking wildcat miners.

Police issued a statement that nine officers and two miners were injured in Saturday’s clash, and a 71-year-old woman travelling on a bus trapped by the demonstration died of a heart attack.

While police managed to open the highway in the Arequipa region, protesters blocked it again hours later.

The protests target new laws that give some 70,000 small-scale miners a deadline to register with the government and meet legal standards or face possible imprisonment.

Officials say illegal mining is destroying the Amazon rain forest. But miners say they’re being treated as criminals and the clean-up endangers the livelihood of thousands of families.

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