Antoine Blanca was the French ambassador to Peru between 1997 and 2001. He lived in the United States from 1993 to 1996, serving as the French ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington, D.C.
Before taking up his position as the French ambassador to Peru, Blanca was briefed about the Yanacocha mine dispute by President Chirac. Blanca says that because it involved BRGM, a French state-owned entity, the dispute was the president's "main preoccupation" in Peru at the time.
In an interview with FRONTLINE/World, Blanca acknowledges that as ambassador, he was advocating for BRGM. He told FRONTLINE/World that the U.S. ambassador was also very active in the case, as were dozens of U.S. State Department employees. Blanca claimed it was his duty as French ambassador to defend the interests of BRGM, a company directly under the control of the French government (its president and director general were government appointees). Blanca said he was convinced that Montesinos "rigged" the vote for the Americans and pointed to the 1998 video of a meeting between Montesinos and Judge Jaime Beltrán as evidence.