The Americas

Attack on mine prompts emergency decree in Ecuador

Ecuador's government says it's declaring a state of emergency in an Amazonian region where apparently indigenous protesters attacked a Chinese-owned mine, leaving at least one policeman dead.

Members of the Shuar people have been fighting the Exploracobres copper mine in the country's Amazon region, accusing it of encroaching on their lands. They last clashed with security forces guarding the mine in November.

Officials say about 60 people believed to be Shuar attacked the mine on Wednesday, killing one policeman and wounding several others.

Chief Prosecutor Galo Chiriboga said Thursday three prosecutors have been named to investigate the case. Officials say only a small number of Shuar are involved. But the Confederation of Indigenous Nations of the Amazon blames the government for militarizing the conflict by sending police and troops.