Argentines protest foreign companies

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A Canadian company has suspended a proposed gold mining project in Argentina following a series of protests.

Environmental groups and residents in the town of Famatina, near the proposed site where mining company Osisko wants an open pit goldmine say the mine would pollute the local water supply.

"They will have to pass over our dead bodies," says Juan Carlos Rivero, a nut farmer in the north western province of La Rioja.

Residents in Famatina fear the mine would take and possibly contaminate the water supply.

"Water is worth more than gold", read one sign, a reference its scarcity in this arid region.

The 800-person strong protests, along with similar protests in Peru, El Salvador, Chile, and Argentina where local communities demandedtheir interests take precedence over those of mainly foreign mining companies, forced Osisko to suspend exploration plans in Famatina for the time being.

In the capital, masked demonstrators threw rocks at British businesses in Buenos Aires to protest Britain's continued control of the Falkland islands as Prince William arrived in the country.

About 60 members of the group Quebracho, calling William the 'Pirate Prince', marched to demand sovereignity of the islands for Argentina.

"We came here today to speak out against this
character, but most of all to argue the sovereignty of Las Malvinas. They are trying to step on that sovereignty by taking about people's right to self-determination," said leftist leader Juan Miguel Gomez.

Britain has controlled the islands, about
480 kilometres off the southern Argentine coast, since 1833.

In 1982, Britain sent a naval force and thousands of troops to reclaim the islands after Argentine forces sent by the country's then-military junta occupied them.

About 650 Argentine and 255 British troops died in the 10-week conflict.