Lethal Stupidity On June 5, 2009, reports surfaced of major clashes between protesters and police in Peru, with the death toll now estimated at 34 people. The protests involved tens of thousands of indigenous people who were opposed to mining and energy exploitation in rainforest areas of the country. This prompted the government, on June 18, to revoke two laws enacted last year to open the Amazon to mining, oil, and timber development. Reuters reports that Peru’s president, Alan Garcia, “is under heavy pressure to make more concessions to opposition groups as social unrest and a slower economy undermine his push to attract foreign investors.”
This could result in measures hostile to the interests of resource investors involved in projects far from the rainforest areas. We have no exposure to Peruvian politics in our portfolio at present, but a major anti-industry move in Peru could have regional effects, so we will keep an eye on the story.