LIMA, Peru – The mayor of a highlands Peruvian province has been released from prison 11 days after he was ordered jailed for five months for allegedly instigating violence in an anti-mining protest.
Espinar Mayor Oscar Mollohuanca was freed Wednesday after a judge determined that his preventative detention was unjust. He remains under criminal investigation.
Mollohuanca (Moh-yoh-WAN-ka) told reporters he blames his detention on a national government that favors mining companies over elected authorities exercising their right to protest.
Mollohuanca called on the Peruvian government to lift the 30-day emergency it called in Espinar on May 28 after two people were killed while protesting against the Tintaya copper mine owned by Swiss-based Xstrata.
Protesters say they fear the mine is contaminating water and poisoning their livestock and crops.
Xstrata denies it is polluting.