SANTIAGO (Reuters) - The chairman of Codelco, Chile’s state-run copper miner, was being treated in the hospital for minor injuries after receiving a package that exploded at his home on Friday.
Oscar Landerretche “is in a good state of health after being a victim today of the explosion of an artefact that he received at his home,” said Codelco, the world’s largest copper miner.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said in comments to journalists that Landerretche had received some injuries on his arms and abdomen, and that his family had been unhurt.
“This was unacceptable and of course specialist police forces are investigating,” she said.
It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. Chile, which returned to democracy in 1990 after a 17-year dictatorship, is normally one of Latin America’s most stable countries.
However, there have been a number of low-level attacks by anarchist groups in recent years. In September 2014 several people were injured after a device exploded next to a metro station.
Landerretche is a 44-year-old economist who has led Codelco’s board, a government-appointed position, for the last two years. The miner is part-way through an ambitious investment programme but has struggled to turn a profit against a backdrop of low global copper prices.
Copper industry workers said he was well respected and they were baffled as to the reason behind the attack.
“We copper workers reject this kind of act,” said Codelco union leader Raimundo Espinoza.
“I don’t think Oscar is the kind of person who has enemies,” said copper mining veteran and ex-Codelco chief executive Diego Hernandez to CNN Chile.
Reporting by Antonio de la Jara and Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Chris Reese and David Gregorio