On the 7th September 2015, Emeri Samarca, the director of an indigenous Lumad school of Sustainable Agriculture, is found tied to a chair with his throat slit by members of the Magahat-Bidani militia, who are reportedly under the control of the Phillipine army. The militia then publicly execute tribal leader Dionel Campos and his cousin Aurelio Sinzo in front of teachers and students of the school.1
All three victims were anti-mining organisers, and join a long list of victims killed for their opposition to the mine: 60-year old B’laan elder Anting Freay and his 16-year old son Victor, Juvello Sinzo, Eliezer “Boy” Billanes, Dioquino Scuadro, Roque Laputan, Juvy Capion and family, and many others.2,3
Although in September 2015, when Emeri was murdered, Glencore-Xstrata had just sold its stake in the Tampakan project,4 the company is directly responsible for this deadly legacy of militia activity [see 2012 entry]. The scars Glencore leaves in communities and society are just as toxic as those it leaves in the ground.
1 Kalikasan PNE, “Perpetrators of the Lianga massacre must be punished, and the war of plunder against the Lumad must end,” Piplinks, September 7, 2015 http://www.piplinks.org/perpetrators-lianga-massacre-must-be-punished,-and-war-plunder-against-lumad-must-end.html
2 John Rizle L Saligumba, “Groups bewail killing of another anti-SMI Xstrata mining leader, son,” Bulatlat, August 27, 2013, https://www.bulatlat.com/2013/08/27/groups-bewail-killing-of-another-anti-smi-xstrata-mining-leader-son/
3 Karapatan, Oplan Bantay Laya: Blueprint for Terror and Impunity, 2009 Annual Report, p.12, available from https://www.bulatlat.com/2010/03/09/download-oplan-bantay-laya-blueprint-for-terror-and-impunity-karapatan-2009-yearend-report-on-human-rights/
4 Bong S. Sarmiento, “Officials quash plan, for now, to develop Philippines’ biggest copper mine,” Mongabay, August 30, 2020, https://news.mongabay.com/2020/08/officials-quash-plan-for-now-to-develop-philippines-biggest-copper-mine/