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World Briefing / Peru

Farmers free 17 hostages for fertilizer

August 16, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

Farmers freed 13 police officers and four civilians seized at a hydroelectric dam in Peru's Andean region after local officials agreed to provide them with fertilizer.

Authorities said the hostages were held for nearly 24 hours at a church in Huallamayo, a town more than 100 miles northeast of the capital, Lima.

Miguel Hidalgo, director of police, told radio RPP that talks involving government officials, the power plant company and farmer representatives produced an agreement on releasing the captives. He said the government promised that fertilizer would be delivered within 15 days.

Enersur, a French-Belgian company that operates the power station, said the dam's electricity output was less than 40% of normal because of damage inflicted by the farmers.

It said a control room was destroyed and a floodgate damaged.

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