Rio Blanco: Torture: Investigation Incomplete
31 March 2009
Public prosecutors investigating the alleged torture of protestors at the Rio Blanco mining project in 2005 have found the police responsible. This absolves the British mining company, Monterrico Metals, and the parent company, Chinese consortium Zijin, which bought Monterrico two years after the alleged incident. Also cleared of any wrong-doing was the private security firm Forza, which was employed by the company to oversee the site. Previously Peruvian-owned, Forza was acquired by the Swedish security group Securitas in 2007. .
In response, Fedepaz, the Peruvian human rights group that filed the original complaint, has described the findings as incomplete. A judge must now decide whether to bring the police officers in question to trial, drop the case, or ask prosecutors for more evidence.
Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action in February following death threats to journalist Julio Cesar Vasquez Calle who was allegedly tortured whilst reporting on a demonstration against the development of the Rio Blanco mine in August 2005.
For more information: www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR46/003/2009/en