Confrontation Between Police and Miners Leaves 4 Wounded.
Posted On 15 Sep 2010
Photos Courtesy of Diario El Comercio, Ángel Medina.
In Paquisha, Zamora Chinchipe province, violent clashes between police members and civilians causes at least 4 people injured this morning. According to witnesses, at least one member of the Police and a demonstrator would have been transferred to nursing homes after having been beaten by the mob.
About 400 people, including small-scale miners, artisanal miners, Saraguro Aborigins, Shuars and farmers opposed the police eviction that would take place in the mining settlement located at 13 Kms. from the city of Paquisha, where 1,500 families are working and there are over 300 homes.
Around 1,500 police officers and military personnel in riot gear arrived at Paquisha in the early Wednesday morning, waiting for orders. Then, at 7:30 AM, when they were heading to the villages of Conguime and Paquisha by crossing the bridge over Nangariza river, a human wall made by the villagers prevented the circulation of at least 70 police vehicles.
Law enforcement officers used tear gas to evict the protesters, who reacted with petrol bombs, sticks and stones. As of right now, the police have already accessed the town of Paquisha.
Paquisha’s Mayor, Angel Calva, rejected the violence in the county and affirmed he supports the claim of the small miners, asking for dialogue with the authorities. In addition, classes are being suspended in various schools.