In Peru, violence has flared and tension runs high as the miners strike continues into its second month.
In Peru, violence has flared and tension runs high as the miners strike continues into its second month. Peruvian labour leaders reported several people dead or wounded after police stormed Lima's university campus and evicted miners and their families occupying the premises.
SYNOPSIS: There was no immediate confirmation that anyone was killed in the dawn raid on the university's medical school, but placards that lined the fence claimed a massacre had taken place. A Roman Catholic Church spokesman said there appeared to be several wounded. Some of the miners' families who remained, sifted through their scanty belongings.
The sign pledges "We will avenge our dead, long live the miners' strike". Five thousand people had occupied the medical school for three weeks as part of the strike action. They seek the reinstatement of 320 miners dismissed last year, and they object to a ban on strikes. The strikers have staged long marches, mass demonstrations and occupations of buildings. The Peruvian government ordered a return to work, and the eviction from the campus buildings followed.
Witnesses said that shots were fired after hundreds of armed civil guards burst into the medical school, drenching sleeping miners with water cannot and herding miners and their families into trucks and trains bound for Andean mining towns. Some of Peru's 50,000 striking miners had already returned to work, partially ending the crippling stoppage.