//US Multinational Pollutant

US Multinational Pollutant

Jakarta, Feb 13 (Prensa Latina) Freeport, a US-based mining multinational, was accused Monday of extensive pollution in the Indonesian province of Papua.

Indonesian Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar stated there is evidence that Freeport has greatly contaminated the region.

Since the company began local mining exploitation in 1980, the population close to the mines has been suffering a series of problems, including water pollution and the destruction of forests and roads.

Recent fires and drought in the area have aggravated the negative consequences of these problems, a reason why the nearby communities strongly oppose such operations.

Freeport was also accused in December 2005 of having paid nearly 20 million US dollars to Indonesian military and police agents to guarantee their protection from 1998 to 2004.