May 25, 2015 / 6:50 PM / 5 years ago

Protester supporting iron mine strike in Peru killed in clashes

LIMA, May 25 (Reuters) - A man supporting a week-long strike at Shougang Group Co Ltd’s iron deposit in southern Peru was killed in clashes with police on Monday, a spokesman with the health ministry said.

Luis Borda added that the cause of the protester’s death was being investigated and that at least one other person was wounded.

Julio Ortiz, the head of the Shougang union that has been on strike for seven days, said the man was shot dead by police who were firing pellets and live bullets at protesters in the town of San Juan de Marcona.

Ortiz said that striking mine workers and locals supporting them took part in street rallies on Monday to press Shougang to re-hire recently dismissed workers.

Shougang did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The unrest follows the suspension of civil liberties in another southern region of Peru after a fourth person was killed in protests against a copper project.

Mining conflicts in Peru, a top global minerals exporter, have left several protesters dead and derailed billions in investments in recent years.

The Shougang union downed tools last week to press the government to strengthen labor laws. Management said on May 18 that the strike had not impacted output.

Shougang’s Peru mine produced 7.2 million tonnes of iron last year.

Reporting By Mitra Taj and Teresa Cespedes; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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