Zacatecas, Mexico. The US mining company Newmont, owner of Peñasquito, the largest open-pit gold mine in Latin America, issued an official statement on Friday, June 11th, in which the transnational expressed its “deep sorrow” for the “regrettable events, which occurred during the last week ”, that is, the disappearance, torture, and murder of nine people from this municipality, last Sunday, June 6.
According to the information released by the San Luis Potosí Attorney General’s Office, last Sunday; June 6th, in a place located on the side of the road that connects the community of Vanegas, with San Tiburcio, Zacatecas, the bodies were located. of nine people -7 men and 2 women-, violently murdered after being deprived of their liberty, in the Zacatecas municipality of Mazapil, where the Peñasquito mining company is located.
Among the nine victims, is José Ascensión Carrillo Vázquez, leader of the CAVA Transporters Union, a company that for almost a decade provided services for hauling stone materials and water inside the mining complex, and who in 2018 and 2019, publicly denounced that Minera Peñasquito had breached contracts for the provision of services, to benefit transport companies in Spain and the United States of America.
Although until this Friday, June 11, the Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí Prosecutors have not issued an official statement on the investigation to identify the murderers of the nine people from Mazapil – they are presumed to be members of an organized crime organization-, The transnational Newmont decided to express condolences to the general community of the Mazapil municipality, but also revealed that an important employee of the mining company is among the victims:
The open-pit gold mine, the largest in Latin America, declared in its brief statement this Friday that, “We hope for the prompt resignation of his family and friends, especially those close to one of our collaborators, a prominent qualified crane maintenance technician, who also lost his life in this tragic event”.
However, the transnational company cut off any link with the disappearance and death of the nine people, including one of the main opposition leaders to the mining company, who, together with more than 150 transporters and hundreds of inhabitants of the Cedros community, kept the Peñasquito mine blocked for three months, in mid-2019, requiring compliance with previous agreements.
“This unfortunate event is in no way related to the Peñasquito operation in Mazapil, Zacatecas. Newmont Peñasquito acts in an open and transparent manner with the communities, collaborators, government and other interested parties”.
Likewise, the mining company Peñasquito highlighted that, in 2020, at a dialogue table mediated by the Ministry of the Interior (at a federal level), the company reached a historic agreement with the true and legitimate representatives of the community (Cedros), which later ratified by the General Assembly of the same and validated by the Federal Governments and the State of Zacatecas”.
Source: La Jornada