Mining and tourism paralyzed. Both are key activities for the economy of Cusco and the country. Protests paralyzed them with the danger of thousands staying on the streets.
Blockades at strategic points in the Southern Mining Corridor paralyzed the activities of the companies Antapaccay in Espinar, Hudbay in Chumbivilcas and Las Bambas in the Apurímac region.
These companies that exploit copper paralyzed their activities due to attacks on their camps and the impossibility of moving the mineral to the coast of Arequipa to ship it to Asia. It’s has plunged more than 14,000 direct and indirect workers into uncertainty They don’t know when they will return to their jobs.
A similar situation exists in the tourism sector due to the closure of Machupicchu and the main attractions. It is estimated that 100,000 workers have been left without income since the beginning of the years.
The provinces of Espinar and Chumbivilcas of Cusco make up, together with Cotabambas in Apurímac, the Southern Mining Corridor. Antapaccay, Hudbay and Las Bambas operate here.
The Antapaccay and Hudbay mining companies in Cusco (Costanza) represent 10% of copper production nationwide. The blockades in the mining corridor, specifically in Condoroma in the province of Espinar, also harm mining companies that operate in Apurímac and Chumbivilcas.
Sources close to the companies indicate that the ore has not come out for more than three weeks. The number of staff has been drastically reduced by roadblocks that prevent workers from reaching their workplace and the threat of invasions.
In Thorn, antapaccay It has paralyzed 1,946 payroll workers and 2,164 contractors. In Cotabambas, The Bambas It has more than 8,500 direct and indirect workers who are being left adrift.
The problem of The Bambas It has been dragging on since the beginning of the year due to the constant blockages in the corridor. The Las Bambas operations and the two Cusco companies account for 30% of copper production.
According to the specialist Epifanio Baca, the blockades in this region are strategic. The interruption in Espinar slows down the output of Antapaccay, Hudbay and Las Bambas production.
Despite the logistics corridor in the province of Paruro, the mineral cannot be transported normally due to pickets on the road and fear of attacks against the containers that transport it.
Tourism has also been affected by the lockdowns. According to the Ollantaytambo Chamber of Commerce, it is estimated that at least 100,000 people within the sector have been left without income in Cusco.
According to the president of the Chamber of Commerce in Ollantaytambo, Carlos Gónzales, a large part of the Cusco population is dedicated to tourism in different services: hotels, restaurants, transport, artisans, etc. Large economic losses and massive layoffs are expected in March, predicts the businessman.
We don’t have the exact number. but 60% of the economically active population of Cusco works directly or indirectly in relation to tourist activity.a, we are talking about 400 thousand people who are affected, in March we will have a clearer picture, but if things continue the same, unemployment will be total. Now there must be about 100,000,” said González.
Most employees have been given vacations as a way out of the crisis.
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