TORONTO – A group of more than 20 Tanzanians and their family members have filed a lawsuit against Barrick Gold Corp., alleging they or their loved ones were beaten, shot at or killed by police at one of the company’s mines in the African country.
The plaintiffs in the case against the Toronto-based gold miner say five were killed by the police, five tortured by them and at least another five were shot at by the authorities, resulting in serious injuries.
The statement of claim says Barrick took operational control of the North Mara mine in 2019, using a security strategy that involved agreements with the Tanzanian police to have heavily armed police sent to deal with locals entering waste rock areas.
They say Barrick should have known the police had a long history of using “excessive force” and say the use of lethal force against those killed or injured was arbitrary and not necessary.
They are seeking unspecified damages linked to loss of income and pain and suffering from the personal injuries and wrongful deaths.
Barrick says the statement of claim is riddled with inaccuracies and the mining company has no control or direction over Tanzanian police, so it will vigorously fight the accusations.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 23,2022.