The RCMP is conducting an investigation into the actions of a Canadian mining company, Blackfire Exploration Ltd.
On July 20, a team of Mounties executed a search warrant on the office of Blackfire Exploration Ltd., a privately owned junior whose operations in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas have been embattled since 2009, when a vocal opponent of its barite mine was murdered in a drive-by shooting.
The company has not been charged with a crime and says it is co-operating fully with the RCMP investigation, which is part of a broader effort by the Mounties to enforce Canada’s Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act – the law that forbids the payment of bribes abroad.
In a sworn statement in support of the search warrant application, Constable Terri Lynn Batycki alleges the company illegally paid a local mayor, Julio Cesar Velazquez Calderon, about $19,300 (CDN) “to keep the peace and prevent local members of the community from taking up arms against the mine.”
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