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Peru names new PM

English.news.cn   2012-07-24 10:54:24            

LIMA, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Peru's President Ollanta Humala appointed Justice Minister Juan Jimenez as the new prime minister Monday in a cabinet reshuffle to calm a wave of violent anti-mining protests.

Jimenez, a human rights lawyer, has served as the justice minister since last December.

The reshuffle also involves five other cabinet ministers. Defense Minister Jose Urquizo was replaced by Pedro Cateriano and Interior Minister Wilver Calle was succeeded by Wilfredo Pedraza. The ministers of justice, agriculture and health were also changed.

The appointment came just hours after Prime Minister Oscar Valdes confirmed on Twitter that he and the rest of the cabinet had tendered their resignations.

"Dear friends, I want to inform you of the end of my stay at the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. I thank you for your support and constructive criticism. Long live Peru," wrote Valdes.

Hours before the message was posted online, Health Minister Alberto Tejada told a local radio station that the entire cabinet had decided to resign following a meeting with Valdes Monday morning.

Rumors of Valdes' resignation have been circulating since June, after violent clashes left five people dead in the northern region of Cajamarca, where residents have been divided over whether to allow the mining of gold deposits.

It was Jimenez that announced the state of emergency in Cajamarca earlier this month, which suspended civil liberties in the protests.

Shortly after taking office in July 2011, Humala reshuffled more than half of his cabinet last December, when Valdes was appointed as the cabinet chief.

Editor: Wang Yuanyuan
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