The five-day strike that blocked the road to port for the Las Bambas mine was called off late on Friday 10 February. This was in response to the ‘carrot’ of definite dates being set for two of the key promised works of infrastructure to benefit the province of Cotabambas: a hospital and a sewage works. It was also possibly in respect to the ‘stick’ of the declaration of a state of emergency.

But the situation remains confused and conflictual, as significant groups of the population oppose the state of emergency and declare that they were not consulted in approving the much-vaunted Development Plan (Plan de Desarrollo) for the area.

Local leaders in Cotabambas met the following day with Health Minister Patricia Garcia and Housing Minister Edmer Trujillo, declaring their opposition to the state of emergency. In a two-page document, they described the measure as “a repressive strategy and a weak response to use to take on board, understand and confront the true causes of social conflict”

A significant group of local leaders had walked out of the key meeting earlier in the week, once they saw what they took to be insufficiently high levels of officials attending, and for this reason declared they had not been consulted. They are calling for a meeting on 20 February with central government officials.

Cooperacción is the main NGO working on the ground in this area. It reports that what agreement has been reached has been achieved by working with the mayors and by excluding local leaders who speak for the communities. Agreements have also focused too heavily on infrastructure projects, to the exclusion of environmental problems, human rights and compensation issues