Protest against mining plans in Q'oyillur Riti Sanctuary

Published: Sunday 15 April 2007

More than 2,000 members of a religious sect recently marched up to the district of San Jeronimo, near the city of Cuzco in the southeastern Peru, to protest an official mining exploration request, which, according to the protestors, threatens religious sites in Q'oyllur Riti Sanctuary.

The snowy mountainside where the sanctuary is located hosts an annual pilgrimage of over 26,000 people which merges indigenous beliefs and Christian rites, including the celebration of an image of a child Christ. The pilgrimage is one of the biggest such celebrations in Peru. Minsur is the mining company that has placed the request.

With Peru's mining industry growing, the protestors have demanded that the sacred lands of Q'oyllur Riti be declared a national heritage site, thereby preempting mining or industrial activities that could endanger the area.

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