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Peru PM declares state of emergency in south after protests over new mining law

[JURIST] Peruvian Prime Minister Yehude Simon [official website, in Spanish] has declared a state of emergency [press release, in Spanish] for Tacna province [official website, in Spanish] in southern Peru where violence broke out last week after the government passed a law reducing the province's share of revenue from mining operations in the region. The new law levies taxes based on how much mineral wealth is produced, whereas taxes under the old law were based on how much earth was moved at a mine. The emergency declaration issued Tuesday is intended to restore security to the region where rioters have destroyed public buildings and at least 89 have been arrested. The order will ban public gatherings, limit travel, suspend personal privacy, and increase police presence in the region for 30 days. The government defended the constitutionality of the declaration [El Peruano report, in Spanish], arguing the measure is necessary to secure the safety of its citizens. On Wednesday Simon announced [press release, in Spanish] that there would be no talks with Tacna until the violence stopped. UPI has more.

In August, the government of Peru instituted a state of emergency [Peruvian Times report] in the northern region of the country, in response to large protests held by indigenous groups who oppose a new law [JURIST report] reducing the majority by which a tribe must agree to sell communal land to oil and natural gas companies. The new law is part of a trade agreement negotiated with the Bush administration designed to make it easier for energy companies to acquire land from US trading partners.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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