MAC: Mines and Communities

London Protests Against Monterrico Metals' Mining Plans In Northern Peru

Published by MAC on 2007-04-03

London Protests Against Monterrico Metals' Mining Plans in Northern Peru

Press release

3rd April 2007

This morning in the City of London an international delegation protested against Monterrico Metals' mining plans in Northern Peru. The protestors demand the British company to stop its Rio Blanco copper mining project, and the Peruvian government to quit the concession and declare the zone a 'red zone' for mining.

The group of mainly young Belgians carried with them two coffins and pictures of the wounded farmers. Like this, they drew attention to the severe repression that the local population is suffering ever since Monterrico initiated explorations at its Rio Blanco site.

In a street play nearby Monterrico Metals headquarters, the demonstrators showed the ecological risks of the mining project, focusing on the extreme vulnerability of the cloud forests of the High Amazon area.

With this protest in London the resistance of thousands of Peruvian peasants, environmental & human rights organizations is amplified on an international scale. In Peru there is firm opposition to the Rio Blanco copper mine project. Mining will contaminate the rivers and affect the agricultural activities on which the rural inhabitants depend. In addition, the Rio Blanco project located in the Andean Forests puts unique species, such as the spectacled bear and mountain tapir, at risk.

Spokesperson Piet Wostyn (Catapa) affirms: "After years of regional protest in Peru against Monterrico Metals, now the resistance reached London headquarters. Internationally, more and more people demand the end of the Rio Blanco copper mining project. Numerous human rights violations, a far reaching and long lasting ecological disaster and legal irregularities urge for a disinvestment from Monterrico Metals."

In the city of London hundreds of people looked to the street theatre. The theatre was supported by life music. The manifestation to the head office of Monterrico Metals took place in an animated but peaceful manner. The protestors shouted "Monterrico Metals = Monterrico Murderers." Inside the office of Monterrico Metals a delegation handed over the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to the company's executive chairman Richard Ralph. In their view the company is violating these rights.

The action was organized by the Belgian organization CATAPA. The action in London is the start of an international campaign planned by CATAPA and its supporting organizations.

Press spokespersons:

Piet Wostyn (CATAPA, Belgium): 0032(0)484.157.183.
Daan Janssens (CATAPA, Belgium): 0032(0)473.367.318.
Nicanor Alvarado Carrasco (VIMA, Peru): interview on demand

More information about the Rio Blanco project:

'The case Majaz.' (Misereor video)

Mining project 'Río Blanco' in Peru threatens the human right to food and water

'Disinvest from Monterrico Metals'

Amnesty International Urgent Action. Peru, fear for safety (03/23/2007)
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