Today, at long last, we get some reaction from the government of Peru. This is what Prime Minister Yehude Simon said just a few minutes ago (via Ottotrans™):
“I deplore this as a Peruvian, I deplore this as a person and it seems to us that force doesn’t make anybody right. What I say is that those that have done this have comiited a big mistake, they have violated human rights and have left their victims a terrible image of themselves and of their institutions.
UPDATE: Reuters has managed to get a quote out of Monterrico Metals, but it’s pretty disappointing and makes no reference to the torture the company carried out at the mining camp. Here’s the Reuters Lima story that concentrates on the totally obvious fact that the project will be delayed. What it doesn’t say is that there’s no chance the project will be built in my lifetime. But you can’t expect a company with the track record of Monterrico to be honest.
LIMA, Jan 12 (Reuters) – A unit of China’s Zijin said on Monday it is reevaluating the timetable for developing its Rio Blanco copper project in Peru after tumbling prices and protests.
Monterrico Metals (MNA.L), which is controlled by China’s second-largest gold miner, Zijin Mining Group Co Ltd (2899.HK), previously said it would start production in 2011.
But like many global miners, hit by the collapse in commodity prices and a tough financing environment, it is reevaluating its plans.
“Essentially that’s under review and a revised chronogram for investment and development will be published in due course — fairly shortly. I suggest this quarter,” said Andrew Bristow, investor relations manager at Monterrico.
The $1.4 billion copper-molybdenum project, which is located in the northern district of Piura, is expected to produce some 200,000 tonnes of copper concentrate a year.
Many community members near Rio Blanco oppose the project. They worry the mine will wreck the environment and damage agricultural lands.
In a 2007 popular vote, nearby communities overwhelmingly said they did not want Rio Blanco developed. (Reporting by Dana Ford; Editing by Marguerita Choy)
UPDATE 2: More important testimony at this link, translated by Lillie at Memory in Latin America. Good job Lillie.