SANTIAGO, Chile – A mining contractor has been shot dead in Chile after clashing with police during protests by workers employed by service contractors at the state-run copper giant Codelco.
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The Confederation of Copper Workers said Friday that Nelson Quichillao was gunned down by police at 2:00 a.m. near Codelco's El Salvador mine.
Police say they used guns in response to "a heavy machinery attack" by protesters that put an officer's life in danger.
The stoppage began Tuesday with protesters demanding a benefits package similar to that offered to the company's direct employees.
Codelco says five of its mines have been partially affected, and has estimated the losses at $27 million per day.
The world's largest copper mining company says agreeing to the demands would cost about $1 billion in the long run.