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5 dead in Peru mining clashes

by Staff Writers
Lima (AFP) April 5, 2010
Five Peruvians were killed and dozens injured in a weekend of clashes between police and miners protesting new regulations for independent mining operations, government and union officials said Monday.

The dead included three miners, one taxi driver and an unidentified person in clashes near Chala along the Pan-American highway some 600 kilometers (375 miles) south of Lima.

An estimated 7,000 people were participating in ongoing protests Monday that blocked the key highway, prompting warnings from officials that they would seek to keep traffic open.

The clashes came as the government moved to crack down on illegal mining operations by individuals and groups without permits, which officials say is linked to deforestation of the Amazon and child labor exploitation.

Union officials accused police of opening fire on the protesters.

The interior ministry said 29 people were hurt, and 32 were arrested during the incidents.

Justice Minister Victor Garcia Toma said there would be no talks: "We are not going to negotiate with someone with dynamite in their hands."

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China dismisses charges of unfair business climate
Beijing (AFP) April 1, 2010
China rejected mounting foreign complaints about its business environment Thursday, saying it treats all investors equally and that any difficulties are due to increased competition in the huge market. The comments by a government spokesman were the most detailed response yet to charges that China - already accused of keeping its currency artificially low - was tilting its playing field in ... read more

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