2nd violent death in protest against Peru copper project

LIMA, Peru – A more than month-long protest against a copper mining project in southern Peru has claimed a second life, a 35-year-old protester who a local mayor says was killed by a police bullet.

Mayor Richard Ale of Islay province says Henry Checcla died early Tuesday in a clash that began Monday night when about 500 protesters tried to block a highway and were repelled by police.

Two weeks ago, a 61-year-old farmer was killed by a police bullet.

Locals fear the $1.4 billion open-pit Tia Maria project of Southern Peru Copper, which is owned by Grupo Mexico, will contaminate the agricultural valley.

They are backed by local politicians.

Interior Minister Jose Perez said Tuesday that some 140 police officers have been hurt in the protests.