Roughly 1,000 Peruvian peasants arrived in their nation’s capital this week to demand that the government take action against contamination or seizure of land by mining companies. Peru is the world’s fifth-largest producer of copper and eighth-largest producer of gold, and the mining industry is responsible for half of the nation’s annual export income. But big mining companies, often foreign-owned or backed by foreign investments, frequently clash with local farmers, who say their livelihood is imperiled by uncontrolled exploitation of the land. And the government hasn’t helped, instead upholding a “law of mining servitude” whereby mining companies negotiate a price for agriculture lands and the state relocates the inhabitants. “The government is not interested in solving our problems caused by mining companies that contaminate land, rivers, and undermine our health,” said Miguel Palacin, head of an organization representing 1,135 communities affected by mining.