Protesters have overpowered riot police in Peru, taking some 60 officers, including a general, hostage. The security forces moved in to try to lift a blockade sparked by anger over mining profits. However, they soon found themselves outnumbered by some 20,000 demonstrators. They have been blocking roads, including Peru’s main highway to Chile, and cut off access to a mine and copper smelter in the region of Moquegua.
The protesters say mining companies have earned record profits because of a boom in the region, but that little of the money has gone to the workers. Authorities say some 80 people, most of them police officers, were hurt in the clashes.