Fatal accident at Southern Peru, Grupo Mexico
A worker at the Toquepala opencast mine has died after a landslip from an area that has experienced repeated rock falls. The IMF calls for those responsible to be brought to justice.
PERU: An accident occurred at the Toquepala mine, owned by Grupo México, on January 13, costing the life of Andrés Larico Mamani, a member of the SUTOTA union, affiliated to FENAMEPSICOP, a federation affiliated to the International Metalworkers' Federation.
Jorge Campos Arena, SUTOTA leader and employed at the mine said: "The accident occurred in excavation area 5. Komatsu 930 dumper truck number 23 fell 16 or 17 levels down the mine after the ground gave way under the weight of the truck as Andrés Larico positioned it ready for loading, close to the edge of that level. Each level is 15 to 17 metres high, so we are talking about a fall of 250 metres," explained Campos.
The union leader said his shift started one hour after the accident and, in his capacity as union leader, he demanded to be taken to the area of the tragedy, but the company refused. Campos said that he continued to insist but was not allowed access. The union regrets the company's decision to prevent its participation in the search for the body of their work colleague. The company informed the union of the incident eighteen hours after it happened.
SUTOTA later submitted a request to the Labour Commission of the National Congress, demanding a detailed investigation of the case. "The accident happened because of a landslip from an area that had experienced repeated rock falls, a sufficient reason to conclude that it was the result of unsafe conditions and therefore entirely the responsibility of Southern Peru Grupo Mexico," said the union.
The IMF and SUTOTA request that those responsible for the fatal accident are brought to justice and that Grupo México guarantees the safety of its workplaces. The IMF regrets that once more a worker has lost his life because of unsafe working conditions and that the union is being prevented from having a role in the investigation of the accident.
The victim's body has still not been recovered. The union said it, "will not allow our colleague to remain buried in the mine and we will go on strike if the company does not try to recover the body."Jan 17, 2011 – Valeska Solis