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Gang-backed workers ‘terror’ bombed mine says employer

BESS La Morena mine
BESS La Morena mine

Criminally linked employees are suspected of using explosives to attack a mining operation.

Authorities are investigating why a group of workers detonated part of Poderosa’s BESS La Morena Project.

The proponent confirmed a high-voltage tower suddenly exploded at 7:13pm on 25 January 2024 local time. The incident is being investigated as a possible terrorist attack.

“This attack specifically affected Tower 5 of the SE 2190 interconnection room, … generating an interruption in the development of our operations and putting the safety of our collaborators at risk,” a spokesperson said in a public statement.

“The violent act, carried out with terrorist tactics, represents a tangible threat to our personnel.”

Illegal mining has arguably overtaken drug trafficking as the top origin of illicit resources in Peru. More than 10 similar attacks have been reported in the past 12 months. Multiple suspects have been linked to criminal gangs.

“On December 2, 2023 one of these criminal groups tried to take part in our operations, murdering nine security agents after detonating several charges of anfo (high-powered explosives) in one of the mine’s underground galleries,” Poderosa said.

“Illegal miners operate without any type of sanction under the protective mantle of [the] Comprehensive Mining Formalisation Registry, a registry that makes police and fiscal action difficult.”

The proponent urged the country’s government to crack down against illegal mining.

“This is an activity directly related to other crimes such as human trafficking, environmental pollution, extortion and hitmen,” the spokesperson said.

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