Protests as US troop mission approved for Peru

Peru's Congress last month, at the behest of President Pedro Castillo's government, voted to approve the entry of US military troops for participation in several weeks of anti-drug and anti-terrorism operations. But the Aug. 4 vote was protested by voices within Castillo's own Partido Perú Libre (PPL), with legislator Kelly Portalatino calling it a "sign of submission." (Prensa Latina) A previous such US troop mission in 2015 saw operations in the Valley of the Apurímac and Ene Rivers (VRAE), a key coca cultivation zone. Campesinos of the VRAE Federation of Agrarian Producers (FEPAVRAE) have just announced a region-wide indefinite paro (civil strike) to begin Oct. 5 in protest of ongoing government coca-eradication campaigns. (Sputnik

Tensions are also growing in Madre de Dios, a region deeper in the southern rainforest. On Aug. 26, two were killed and several injured as National Police troops fired on a protest against government operations against illegal gold-miners. The incident took place at La Pampa, within the buffer zone of Tambopata National Reserve, where a joint army-police outpost has been established for the anti-mining crackdown. (SPDA, InfoBae) A second such outpost was pelted with rocks by protesters and set on fire at Alto Libertad, on the Inter-Oceanic Highway. (El Comercio)