Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Things are getting serious in Tumàn

In some recent posts I’ve commented about workers and educators protesting against the sugar cooperative in the Tumàn District, charging corruption, incompetence, and the failure to pay workers and teachers. The protests had been generally peaceful but that has changed abruptly. Late last week protestors barricaded the road to Cajamarca in an attempt to block sugar cane transport, and forcefully confronted police who tried to clear the road. Several police and protestors were injured. Four of the protestors were arrested and taken to the police station in Tumàn.

Yesterday protestors attacked the police station in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue the four individuals. They threw rocks and home-made fire bombs at the station, causing some damage to the station and an adjacent clothing store.  Unable to enter the station, they took out their frustration by burning a police motorcycle (photo: Wilfredo Sandoval/El Comercio newspaper). The crowd dispersed when confronted with a larger police presence.  

This situation has escalated far beyond disrupting the school term.  It may be that similar to the copper mine protests in Tia Maria in the south, we’ll see the military here to restore peace before it’s over.

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