Victor Limaypuma, the President of the Cotabambas Defense Front, told Reuters the protest was taking place because there were scheduled talks set for Tuesday, but the government and the mine failed to send senior representatives.
Limaypuma said the blockade will last 48 hours.
The blockade is the first protest since Peru’s socialist government and the Cotabambas province reached a tentative agreement on Oct. 27 to engage in formal talks.
“We are really conscious of the fact all your demands are legitimate and that we should try to resolve them,” Prime Minister Mirtha Vasquez told Cotabambas residents at the time.
Cotabambas leaders say Las Bambas has brought pollution to the area and little in the way of economic development.
Las Bambas is Peru’s fourth largest copper mine, and uses a dirt road to transport copper to port.
The road is often the site of protests and has been blocked for over 300 days since Las Bambas started operations in 2016.
Las Bambas representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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