Cuenca News

Two arrested in Molleturo for assaulting Rio Blanco gold mine representatives

Two police officers were injured Tuesday afternoon as they escorted officials from the Rio Blanco gold mine between meetings in Molleturo. Molleturo, located 20 miles west of Cuenca in the Cajas Mountains, has been the scene of several protests against the mining project in recent months.

Injured police officer is taken by ambulance from Molleturo to Cuenca. (El Tiempo)

According to police, a crowd of about 25 threw rocks and insults at the police officers and mine personnel, damaging a police cruiser in the process. An adult and a juvenile were arrested, police said.

According to the interior ministry, the mining officials were in town to meet with citizens about the mine, specifically to address local concerns about possible contamination of the water supply due to mining activities.

Police say they will increase the protection for the mining Rio Blanco mine, three miles from Molleturo.