Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Peru: New Update on Torture at Mining Development

Here's this morning's update on the case of torture and one killing at the mining development of Monterrico Metals at Majaz (now Rio Blanco). Otto at Inca Kola News continues to update here and here, and you have to agree with his assessment:
And finally someone has managed to get a squeak out of the company, so full kudos goes to the reporter, Dana Ford. And the quote might be short, but it's a real beauty. Monterrico's IR dude Andrew Bristow said it was: "One of an enormous number of things that have happened in terms of opposition activity to the project."

LOL!!! You mean this is only one of the tactics MNA.L has used over the years to beat peaceful protestors into submission? Priceless! File this under "can't-make-this-shit-up-of-the-week".


News agency Reuters has picked up on the story:

Peru protesters say tortured by police, miner

as has the International Herald Tribune, via AP:

Peru rights groups denounce torture at mine

and the number of Spanish-language articles on the subject is multiplying.

The National Coordinator of Human Rights held a press conference yesterday with some of the victims to call for sanctions for those involved; Spanish speakers can read their report and updates on their blog. La Republica reports that statements were given by Elizabeth Cunya Novillo, local radio correspondent, Julio Vásquez Calle, correspondent from the radio station Cutivalú and Marco Tabra Guerrero, the then-President of the group Frente de Defensa del Medio Ambiente (Defensive Front for the Environment).

It was dawn on the 1 of August of the same year [2005] when 29 villagers from Ayabaca and Huancabamba made up of 27 men and 2 women were submitted to physical and psychological attacks lasting 3 days.

Julio Vásquez spoke of his fear that he would be killed. In fact, he survived, but one of the group did not.

...the lawyer of the judicial department of FEDEPAZ [a Peruvian NGO], Rosa Quedena, explained that there is still much that needs to be investigated in this case since much of the "evidence" is contradictory.

"In the case of Melanio García, in the photographs it looks like the villager is alive and that he was just wounded, then in other images Melanio appears dead in the bushes, so at the moment we think that there are many things to clear up.

(Quotes taken from the newspaper article and translated by me). The crimes were not reported immediately after the attack; well, it's difficult isn't it, when it was the police who committed the crimes... Let's hope that an investigation is swiftly opened to clarify events and prosecute those reponsible.

Victimas torturadas en campamento minero en Majaz claman justicia (La Republica)

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