April 23, 2017 / 9:39 PM / a year ago

Peru evaluates expelling two foreigners for 'inciting' anti-mine protests

LIMA (Reuters) - Peruvian police are evaluating the possible expulsion of two foreigners for “inciting” rural communities to protest against the Hudbay Minerals mining company, which owns a copper mine in the nation, the country’s interior ministry said on Sunday.

The police, the ministry said, had requested documents from U.S. citizen John Dougherty, 61, and Canadian citizen Jennifer Moore, 42, who entered Peru earlier in April while claiming to be tourists.

“The authorities have abundant information that documents that their condition (as tourists) has not been complied with, as they have dedicated themselves to inciting townspeople ... against Canadian mining activity in Peru, in particular against the Constancia mine owned by the Hudbay company,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The conduct of the foreigners is causing a change in public order ... meaning the application of expulsion measures would be appropriate,” it added.

Hudbay temporarily suspended operations at its Constancia mine in November, in the midst of protests by rural Peruvians, who blocked highways demanding development projects such as schools they said the company had committed to building.

Neither of the two foreigners in question could be reached for comment, and nobody was available to comment at the Canadian embassy in Peruvian capital Lima.

Peru is the world’s third largest copper producer, and mining is crucial for the national economy.

Reporting by Teresa Cespedes; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Chris Reese

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