Mar. 14 - A crackdown on illegal mining leads to a violent confrontation between police and miners leaving one person dead and 32 others injured. Rough Cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION At least one protester was killed and 32 people were injured on Wednesday (March 14) as police in south-eastern Peru clashed with wildcat miners opposed to a government crackdown on illegal gold mining, the interior minister and the ombudsman's office said. Seven of those hurt in the Amazon region of Madre de Dios were policemen, officials said of the incident, which comes as President Ollanta Humala tries to manage some 200 disputes nation-wide over natural resources in one of the world's top metals exporters. Two people have died in protests since Humala took office in July. Humala has sought to defuse social conflicts by urging mediation to avert violence that plagued his predecessor, Alan Garcia. More than 100 people died in environmental protests that turned violent during Garcia's term. The government is trying to stop informal gold mining in the Amazon region by seizing dredging equipment and other tools. The mining has been blamed for turning swaths of rainforest into a toxic desert and polluting rivers with mercury used to isolate gold. Wildcat miners are demanding the government throw out decrees Humala issued that toughen laws against illegal mining and give the government more power to seize their equipment.