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9 Jan 2009

National Coordinator for Human Rights (CNDDHH)

Photographs confirm torture of peasants who protested against Majaz Mining [Peru]

Since 2003 the Majaz Mining Company, today called Rio Blanco [part of Monterrico Metals, owned by Zijin], operates irregularly in the land of peasant communities...for not having the consent of two thirds of the community assembly’s...By the end of July 2005 the community members initiated a pacific march towards the mining camp...When they arrived to the mining camp on August 1st 2005, the community members were...received...by a strong police contingent who repressed them brutally...29 people, including two women and the journalist Julio Vázquez Calle, were intercepted and taken inside the mining camp...they remained kidnapped during three days, besides being subjects of diverse forms of physical and psychological torture. As well as being wildly beaten...they were kept hooded with sacks sprayed with tear powder and blindfolded, with no warm clothes in spite of the low temperatures...The women were subject of diverse kinds of humiliation of sexual character. And all were threatened and humiliated verbally in many ways...the security personnel of Majaz Mining Company...directly intervened in the facts. The tortures took place inside the mining camp...A few days ago, the National Coordinator of Human Rights had access to a set of photographs that, anonymously delivered, corroborates the alleged torture that in time was denunciated by the community members...The...march...also had the tragic result of the death of...Melanio García.