Open letter from Netwerk Vlaanderen and Catapa to the investors in Monterrico Metals
We are writing to you today to express our concerns about your company’s investments in the mining company Monterrico Metals (ticker code-MNA.L). As you probably know, Monterrico Metals is a London based resource company operating exclusively in Peru. It wants to start the Rio Blanco copper mine in 2008 on Peru’s border with Ecuador. However, thousands of peasants are fiercely opposing the Rio Blanco project. According to them the mine will affect the water resources of the whole northern border of Peru and this way endanger the agricultural production of cultivation crops, coffee, rice, etc. In addition, mining operations in the Andean Forests put unique species, such as the Mountain Tapir, at risk.
Lately the conflict between Monterrico Metals and local peasants has been escalating, to which the resource company reacts in an irresponsible way. The report ‘Disinvest from Monterrico Metals’ (May 2006) by the Belgian NGO Netwerk Vlaanderen documents that the company together with the Peruvian State is responsible for human rights violations in its sphere of influence. Unfortunately, the heavy protests against Monterrico Metals have already claimed two lives and many wounded. Two peasant leaders have died during protest marches near the mining site in northern Peru. Reemberto Herrero Racho was killed by a teargas grenade on the 22nd of April 2004, and Melano García Gonzales was shot to death on the 1st of August 2005. Furthermore there is film footage documenting the violent attack on a peaceful forum on sustainable development, led by the CSR-manager of Monterrico Metals, Raul Urbina. This incident occurred on the 12th of March 2006 in the city of Huancabamba.
An investor bears responsibility for the behavior of a company he co-owns. Therefore, a group of Belgian NGOs started a disinvestment campaign. We ask responsible investors to disinvest from Monterrico Metals until it gives up the Rio Blanco project. In the coming months we will organize awareness raising actions to support this disinvestment campaign.
Investors in Monterrico Metals not only risk reputational damage, but moreover, also risk contributing to more ethically unacceptable conduct in the future. Therefore we request your company to disinvest from Monterrico Metals. We hope you will take positive steps in this matter and would like to stay informed on your initiatives.
List of signing organisations:
Netwerk Vlaanderen (Belgium)
Broederlijk Delen (Belgium)
For Mother Earth (Belgium)
ATTAC Vlaanderen (Belgium)
A Seed Europe (Netherlands)
Grupo Ciudadano Piura Vida y Agro (Peru)
Oficina Diocesana de Educación Católica de la Diócesis de Chulucanas (Peru)
Chirapaq, Centro de Culturas Indígenas del Perú (Peru)
Frente De Defensa Del Agua Los Recursos Naturales Y Los Derechos De La Poblacion De
Sindicato Unitario de Trabajadores de Telefonica del Perú (Peru)
Municipalidad Ecológica Provincial de San Ignacio (Peru)
TReeS Perú (Peru)
Vicaría de Medio Ambiente (Peru)
Vicaría de la Solidaridad (Peru)
Radio Marañon (Peru)
Coordinadora Nacional de Derechos Humanos (Peru)
Asociacion Civil Labor (Peru)
Grupo Andes (Peru)
Sindicato Unitario de Trabajadores en Educacion del Perú (SUTEP) – Jaén (Peru)
La Federacion Regional de Rondas Campesinas de Cajamarca (Peru)
Proyecto Amigo-Huamachuco (Peru)
This letter was sent to the main institutional investors in Monterrico Metals: AXA Framlington, F&C Asset Management, Lehman Brothers International, Amvescap, Aviva and Allianz AG
Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels (formerly For Mother Earth) is a member of Friends of the Earth International