Peru police evict market traders

Linked with Hernando de Soto – Peru.

By Dan Collyns, BBC News, Lima, May 29, 2007.

Thousands of Peruvian riot police have stormed a huge market in Lima to dislodge stallholders and traders who the authorities accuse of squatting.

The operation was the culmination of a month-long standoff during which officials tried to eject families they say had moved onto the land illegally.

Police, some mounted, others in riot gear, moved in at dawn.

Overwhelmed by police numbers, the traders left the site in east Lima they had occupied for five years.

After weeks in siege-like conditions and despite having vowed they would resist to the last, the traders left without a fight.

Allowed to pack their bags, the traders – mainly women and children – were forcibly evacuated, losing not only their jobs but also in many cases, their homes.

The mayor of Lima, Luis Castaneda, had said the traders were illegally occupying the land which belonged to the local authority. (full text).

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