Nicaragua’s national police reported on Tuesday that one police officer had been killed and 31 people injured during violent clashes with protesting workers from the El Limón gold mine.
The El Limón mine, owned by the Canadian mining company B2Gold Corp, has been closed for over a week due to roadblocks around the mining facilities.
According to local police reports, the violence erupted when police officers were protecting a company bus which was transporting workers from the El Limón mine to another mine and protesters attacked them with sticks, rocks, mortars, and molotov cocktails.
The labor dispute has cost B2Gold Corp more than US$1 million since the strike began on Sept. 28, the company said on Monday.
The blockade started following the dismissal of three employees involved in initiating prior blockades, which mine employees argue were unjust and illegal.
The mine has a history of conflicts dating back prior to its acquisition by B2Gold in 2009, the company said.
This marks the fourth work blockade this year at El Limón, including a four-day stoppage over disability benefits.
Previous disputes have ended with an agreement between unions, community leaders, and representatives of the company, mediated by the Ministry of Labor.