The Prime Minister of Peru has declared a state of emergency and openly condemned deaths which occurred during clashes at long-running protests over a US firm's plans to build the biggest mine in the country's history.

Three people died (two of them thought to be police officers) and at least 21 were injured as police, using tear gas and rubber bullets, battled with protestors opposed to the new £3m gold mine in Cajamarca. Work at the Newmont Mining site stopped last November as campaigners blocked the site claiming the construction wouldn't do as much for the local economy than purported and would exacerbate pollution. The President has told locals it would generate huge tax revenues in their fast-growing economy: Peru is the second largest producer of copper, the 6<sup>th for gold.

On a visit to the mine, Prime Minister Oscar Valdes visited the mine saying: …, we must reject these violent attitudes that have, to date, caused so many injured people….It isn't possible that with a government that holds dialogues, that is always attending to all of Peru, there is such an instransient violent attitude. We think that we Peruvians should condemn these acts of violence. We can't allow there to be more acts of violence, that there be more injured, that there be attempts against people's lives and the well-being of police officers'

It's the second flashpoint in the country as back in May 2 people died during protests over a Swiss-owned copper mine.

Written & Presented by Marverine Cole