Monday, 19 October 2009

Peru: Monterrico Metals in the High Court

It seems to be only the Guardian reporting on this so far, but their articles are good and include the video embedded above.*

As regular readers will recall, this is about the mine at Majaz from where photographic evidence of torture emerged last year.

Two protesters were shot in their legs, one man lost an eye to gunshot wounds and a farmer called Melanio Garcia, 41, suffered a fatal gunshot. Photographs allegedly taken by a Monterrico supervisor, which the protesters say support their allegations of abuse by the police, show Garcia lying on the ground, apparently alive but badly injured. Several other pictures taken 30 hours later, according to their time and date stamps, clearly show Garcia to be dead.
Now the mining company is being sued for damages in London.

Richard Meeran, of Leigh Day, the London law firm bringing the high court case, said the evidence of torture was incontrovertible and that it was inconceivable the company could have been unaware of what was happening on its site.

"The company must have been aware of the inhuman treatment of the victims during their three-day ordeal at the Rio Blanco mine," he said. "Yet there is no evidence of it taking any steps to prevent the harm. On the contrary, it would appear that the company was working in cahoots with the police. It is vital that multinationals are held legally accountable for human rights violations occurring at their overseas operations."

The mining firm is denying the allegations.

Abuse claims against Peru police guarding British firm Monterrico (Guardian)

British mining company faces damages after allegations of torture in Peru (Guardian)

I'll try to keep updating on this.

*Richard, was it you who uploaded the video on Youtube? Thanks!