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Peru’s poor Andean hamlets, backed by state, unleash anger at mines

Gabino Leon is angry, and he is not alone. The farmer in Peru’s southern Apurimac region watches each day as hundreds of trucks carrying copper roar past his adobe home, kicking up dust on a potholed dirt road that has become a lightning rod for protests hitting the world’s no. 2 producer of the metal. Leon’s rage – echoed in hundreds of small hamlets around the South American nation, Reuters reporting shows – is because, he says, he sees little benefit from that mineral wealth on his doorstep and blames mining for damaging his livelihood as a subsistence farmer. “All the wealth of Apurimac goes before our eyes,” Leon told Reuters at his home, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) from MMG’s Las Bambas mine, which started production in 2016 and supplies some 2% of the world’s copper.

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