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In Peru, A 'Long March Of Sacrifice' To Protest Mining Damage

CERRO DE PASCO — More than 2,000 children in Peru's Pasco region have blood lead levels far higher than what the World Health Organization says is a safe range for children, and at least 70 of them are suffering from resulting physical illnesses and disabilities, Lima-based daily El Comercio reports.

The culprit is mining, and to protest the environmental and physical damage that it has wrought on their city, 58 activists from the central Peruvian city of Cerro de Pasco recently began a long "march of sacrifice" to the capital of Lima, 320 kilometers away. Cerro de Pasco is the region's capital and has been a center of global silver production since the Spanish colonial era.

The primary goal of the march is to pressure the Peruvian government to provide medical care to the children and to open a clinic to treat those suffering from mining-related illnesses.

Cerro de Pasco is home to a large open pit polymetal mine, and the Pasco region is rich with mineral deposits.

El Comercio writes that a local construction company stored hazardous residue from open pit mining for several years, contaminating local communities in the process. The Peruvian Health Ministry announced in a press statement that it treated 250 children from Pasco, but the Pasco Regional Hospital's director said that none of the patients showed signs of lead poisoning.

The villagers, activists and environmentalists will continue the march nonetheless and plan to reach Lima by Oct. 3.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

What Are Iran's Real Intentions? Watch What The Houthis Do Next

Three commercial ships traveling through the Red Sea were attacked by missiles launched by Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels, while the U.S. Navy shot down three drones. Tensions that are linked to the ongoing war in Gaza conflict and that may serve as an indication as to Iran's wider intentions.

photo of Raisi of iran speaking in parliament

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi at the Iranian parliament in Tehran.

Icana News Agency via ZUMA
Pierre Haski


PARIS — It’s a parallel war that has so far claimed fewer victims and attracted less public attention than the one in Gaza. Yet it increasingly poses a serious threat of escalating at any time.

This conflict playing out in the international waters of the Red Sea, a strategic maritime route, features the U.S. Navy pitted against Yemen's Houthi rebels. But the stakes go beyond the Yemeni militants — with the latter being supported by Iran, which has a hand in virtually every hotspot in the region.

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Since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, the Houthis have been making headlines, despite Yemen’s distance from the Gaza front. Starting with missiles launched directed toward southern Israel, which were intercepted by U.S. forces. Then came attacks on ships belonging, or suspected of belonging, to Israeli interests.

On Sunday, no fewer than three commercial ships were targeted by ballistic missiles in the Red Sea. The missiles caused minor damage and no casualties. Meanwhile, three drones were intercepted and destroyed by the U.S. Navy, currently deployed in full force in the region.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for these attacks, stating their intention to block Israeli ships' passage for as long as there was war in Gaza. The ships targeted on Sunday were registered in Panama, but at least one of them was Israeli. In the days before, several other ships were attacked and an Israeli cargo ship carrying cars was seized, and is still being held in the Yemeni port of Hodeida.

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