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ASUNCION — Family members of 11 Paraguayan peasants killed in a land dispute are accepting monetary help from the government.

They also said Sunday that they will put off until February protests against a prosecutor who has charged their relatives in connection with the clash.

Six police officers also were killed in June, when clashes broke out during the forced eviction of peasants occupying a disputed soy farm.

Politicians opposed to President Fernando Lugo seized on the “Massacre of Curuguaty” to oust him.

A prosecutor filed charges including land invasion and murder against eight of the peasants this month.

Family members say the charges are baseless.

A local judge will decide Feb. 12 whether he accepts or rejects charges presented by the prosecutor.


Gold, copper mining permits seen as step against poverty

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Haiti’s government has announced that it has awarded permits for the first time in the country’s history to allow two companies to openly mine for gold and copper.

The nation’s mining director, Ludner Remarais, said he hopes the move will bring a badly needed burst of money to the impoverished Caribbean country of 10 million people, where many live on a $1.25 a day.

Mr. Remarais issued a gold and copper exploitation permit to SOMINE SA, which is owned jointly by Canadian company Majescor Resources Inc. and Haitian investors.

Mr. Remarais issued a second gold exploitation permit to VCS Mining LLC, a North Carolina-based mining company with offices in Haiti.

“It allows us to finally produce and make money, at least get to that step,” Majescor CEO Dan Hachey said in a phone interview. “It’s also a great step forward for the mining industry in Haiti.”

The company still has to submit a preliminary environmental assessment, although obtaining the permit is the final step to allow open-pit mining, Mr. Hachey said. He added that a deadline hasn’t been set.

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