Peru police take back power plant seized by coca growers protesting crop eradication campaignBy AP
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Peru cops take power plant back from coca growers
LIMA, Peru — Hundreds of coca growers briefly seized control of a power plant in Peru’s interior Sunday, cutting off electricity to the estimated 430,000 people who live in Ucayali province.
Police later moved in, arresting 120 people and freeing 30 employees who got the power on again at the natural gas-fired power plant in Aguaytia, a city about 300 miles (490 kilometers) northeast of Lima.
But authorities said Sunday that coca growers were still blocking a main highway with dozens of disabled buses and trucks.
The so-called “cocaleros” have been protesting for more than a week against government eradication of their crop, which is the base for making cocaine. Peru is the world’s No. 2 coca producer after Colombia.
Tags: Energy, Latin America And Caribbean, Lima, Peru, South America, Utilities