Peru’s president will not extend the state of emergency in three provinces where locals are protesting against a gold mining project.
The state of emergency was instated in Bambamarca, Celendin, and Cajamarca after the protests turned violent; five people have died in the last few months.
President Ollanta Humala said that the state of emergency would be lifted by Sunday evening but security forces would be on watch, reported La Republica newspaper. During the state of emergency, the right of assembly and other civil liberties have been suspended.
The government said that the decision was made in light of “social gaps and economic losses” that occurred in the state of emergency, the report said.
The Conga mine, funded by U.S.-based Newmont Mining Company, is the largest foreign investment project in Peru.
But opponents have said the mine will destroy nearby water supplies. In the project, according to the BBC, water from four lakes in the mountains would be moved into reservoirs built by the company for the mining project.
Ydelso Hernandez, who heads an opposition coalition, said via Twitter that the state of emergency extension that was approved last month “was a sign of arrogance and intransigence on the government’s behalf.”
“With or without a state of emergency, our struggle remains strong,” he said.
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