Tuesday, October 6

Protests in Arequipa close down the national highway

Protests here in Arequipa stalled traffic on the Panamericana del Sur, the national and international highway that starts in Alaska and ends in Buenos Aires. 

Blocking the road to the west of Arequipa with large rocks, the protesters demanded answers from the regional president who has authorized the construction of a new water treatment plant in their area. 

Right now, 90% of Arequipa's residual water (and that's water used by more than one million people, by the way) is not treated, and much of it returns to the Chili river that passes through the city. The water then pollutes local agricultural land, not to mention the population. 

While most agree a water treatment plant *somewhere* is necessary, the people of Uchumayo, west of Arequipa, are concerned the plant will affect their health and environment. 

The protests stalled traffic for hours on one of the most important highways in Peru.

They also held a protest last Tuesday in which more than 1,000 people filled the streets. 


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