Las Bambas: four are suspected of helicopter attack
Serious attack. The National Police has videos that will allow to identify the subjects that threw stones with huaracas with the evident objective of precipitating the aircraft with the officials of the delegation of dialogue of the Executive.
Police are investigating the identity of at least four community members who stoned the helicopter in which a part of the High Level Commission was traveling, designated to talk with the villagers protesting the Chinese mining company MMG, which exploits the Las Bambas copper seat. .
The Mi-17 Army aircraft with registration number 677 was the target of the attack minutes after the crew and passengers had descended. The ministers of Transportation and Communications (MTC), Edmer Trujillo Mori; of Health, Zulema Tomás Gonzales; and of Development and Social Inclusion, Paola Bustamante Mendoza; besides the head of the Macro Police Region Cusco-Apurímac, general PNP Héctor Loayza Arrieta.
The purpose of the attackers was to prevent the members of the delegation from engaging in dialogue with the community members of the area. When about 10 minutes of talks had elapsed, the attackers organized a rain of stones, so the members of the delegation decided to retire and got on the helicopter of registration 677.
When the pilot, Major EP Alfredo Medina Vargas Machuca, started the ascent of the machine, more stones fell, this time, no doubt, to shoot down the aircraft.
The Police has several videos that record the moment in which, at least, four people threw stones at the Mi-17 with huaracas, at approximately 4 pm on Wednesday.
The events occurred in an area corresponding to the Yavi Yavi farm, in the district of Colquemarca, province of Chumbivilcas, Cusco. A group of leaders from the Fuerabamba community moved to the place.
For a hair
The visit of the High Level Commission was part of a dialogue plan announced by Prime Minister Salvador del Solar, with the objective that the authorities build bridges with the communities that protest against the Chinese company MMG and demand the release of the community leader Gregorio Rojas Amiura and his lawyers Jorge and Frank Chávez Sotelo.
The small rock thrown violently managed to penetrate the windshield of the aircraft and managed to penetrate into the cockpit, injuring the knee of the pilot Alfredo Medina, who, however, in a quick maneuver safeguarded the authorities and the crew.
“If the stone had hit the rotor or tail of the helicopter, the consequences would have been fatal,” one of the officers accompanying the dialogue delegation told La República.
The other ship of the Army, of registration 671, was in Yavi Yavi farm because it suffered mechanical damage to the electrical system, so the rest of the delegation was transferred by land to Cusco. On this machine traveled the Vice Ministers of Internal Order, Esteban Saavedra Mendoza, and Governance and Territoriality of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM), Raúl Molina Martínez.
The investigation of the attack is in charge of the Cusco Police Region and the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of the same region.
The complaint against the alleged perpetrators of the attack was made before the Public Ministry by the head of the Yavi Yavi Fundo Police Station.
General Loayza considered that the alleged attackers are not part of the community members who agreed to talk to the Executive, since they were received on good terms, but by radical individuals who intend to sabotage the negotiations to end the blockade of the mining corridor road.
Due to the incident, more troops from the 5th Army Mountain Brigade have moved to Yavi Yavi to preserve the integrity of the helicopter that has been stranded for technical reasons.
- Hurt. The glass that exploded by the stone hurt the flight engineer, the non-commissioned officer EP Álex Calderón Barrientos. It has cuts in the mouth and on the face.
- Another injured. The pilot of the aircraft, Alfredo Medina Vargas Machuca, due to the abrupt maneuver to avoid the stones and ascend, damaged the spine.