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1 Jan 2009

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Monterrico Metals lawsuit (re Peru)

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Status: CLOSED

Date lawsuit was filed
1 Jan 2009
Verteidiger der Menschenrechte
Ort der Einreichung: Vereinigtes Königreich
Ort des Vorfalls: Peru
Art des Rechtsstreits: Transnational


Monterrico Metals (part of Zijin) Vereinigtes Königreich Bergbau
Newmont (formerly Newmont Goldcorp) Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika Bergbau
Rio Tinto Vereinigtes Königreich Bergbau
Shell plc Vereinigtes Königreich Öl, Gas & Kohle
Serco Vereinigtes Königreich Arbeitsagenturen
Securitas AB Group Schweden Sicherheitsfirmen
Teck Resources Kanada Bergbau
Trafigura Beheer Niederlande Öl, Gas & Kohle
Anglo American Vereinigtes Königreich Bergbau
BHP Australien Bergbau, Öl, Gas & Kohle
bp Vereinigtes Königreich Öl, Gas & Kohle
BAE Systems Vereinigtes Königreich Waffen
Compañia de Minas Buenaventura Peru Metall & Stahl
Cambior Kanada Bergbau
Chevron Vereinigte Staaten von Amerika Öl, Gas & Kohle
Erinys International Vereinigtes Königreich Sicherheitsfirmen
Forza (part of Securitas) Peru Sicherheitsfirmen, Technologie, Telekommunikation & Elektronik
Merck Deutschland Arzneimittel
Mitsubishi Group Japan Nahrung & Getränke, Chemikalien: Allgemein, Elektronische Geräte, Finanzwesen & Banking, Bergbau, Technologie, Telekommunikation & Elektronik, Transportwesen: Allgemein
Minera Yanacocha (part of Newmont) Peru Metall & Stahl, Bergbau
Tongling Nonferrous Metals China Bergbau, Metall & Stahl
Zijin Mining China Bergbau, Metall & Stahl


Para la versión en español de este perfil de las demandas judiciales contra Monterrico Metals por actividades en Peru, haga clic acá.

In 2009, eight Peruvians commenced legal proceedings in the English High Court against British mining company Monterrico Metals and its Peruvian subsidiary Rio Blanco copper. Plaintiffs allege police detained 28 people protesting against the proposed development of the Rio Blanco Mine and committed several human rights violations against them including sexual assault and beatings. The company settled the case out of court but did not admit liability. 

In early 2009, eight Peruvians commenced legal proceedings in the English High Court against British mining company Monterrico Metals and its Peruvian subsidiary Rio Blanco Copper (previously known as Minera Majaz).  The number of claimants has since increased.  The claimants alleged that in July-August 2005, police detained 28 people protesting against a proposed development of the Rio Blanco Mine, sprayed noxious substances in their faces, hooded them, beat them with sticks and whipped them.  Two of the female detainees alleged they were sexually assaulted and threatened with rape.  The detainees claimed that the abuse and detention went on for three days and that they suffered serious injuries.  The claimants sought damages for the alleged direct involvement of certain Monterrico and Rio Blanco personnel in the abuse (along with personnel from a private security company employed by Rio Blanco), alleged material support to the police, and the companies’ failure to prevent or react to the abuse.  The companies deny any involvement in the alleged abuses.

On 2 June 2009, the claimants obtained a freezing injunction at the English High Court prohibiting Monterrico from disposing of assets to an extent that would leave it with less than £7.2 million in the UK.  The company had indicated that, for commercial reasons, it planned to de-list from the FTSE Alternative Investment Market (AIM) index.  This raised concerns that it might transfer assets out of the jurisdiction and thus prevent the claimants from collecting damages following any successful action.  This freezing injunction was made permanent on 16 October 2009 for the sum of £5.015 million.  On 20 July 2011, the company settled the case out of court by compensation payments and without admitting liability.

On 6 June 2008, Peru’s National Coordinator for Human Rights (CNDDHH) and the Fundación Ecuménica para el Desarrollo y la Paz (FEDEPAZ) filed a criminal complaint against senior police officers responsible for the police response to the protest, police officers involved in the alleged abuse, and against Rio Blanco security and other personnel.  The complaint alleges tat Rio Blanco’s security personnel were directly involved in the abuses.  On 9 March 2009, the prosecutor cleared the mining company and their security personnel of wrongdoing, but allowed proceedings against the police to continue on the charges of torture.  On 16 March 2009, FEDEPAZ appealed the prosecutor’s decision.  On 2 April 2009, the appeal was accepted by the prosecutorial authority, which ordered further investigations, including the taking of statements from identified employees and a legal representative of Rio Blanco.

On 14 November 2012, the First Penal Appeal Court of Piura sentenced the former Joint Provincial Attorney of Huancabamba for omission charges. The former Attorney accepted charges and admitted to committing the offences contained in the proceedings. He acknowledged that a group of peasants was subject to torture at the mining field of Rio Blanco Copper SA, and that he deliberately omitted to disclose this to the competent judicial body.