Colombia Solidarity Campaign

- Fighting for Peace with Justice -



Features, reports and analysis

Colombia: a choice between mining and food?


By Richard Solly

Last month, I represented Colombia Solidarity Campaign on a delegation organised by US organisation Witness for Peace to La Guajira in northern Colombia. We went to visit communities and workers affected by the massive opencast Cerrejón coal mine, owned by London-listed companies Anglo AmericanBHP Billiton and Glencore.




Workers at Carbones del Cerrejón Limited (*) voted on 7 March 2016 over 98% in favor of a general strike. The workers’ union Sintracarbón states "It has not been the intention of the union to strike, we were confident that the company would understand the just demands of the workers and give a particular procedure and appropriate solution".

The workers’ problems are serious. Their most difficult issue is health. 900 of the mine’s 13,000 workers suffer from illnesses caused by mining activity. They have diseases such as cancer and silicosis, presented mostly by people under 40 years. Neither the company nor the Guajira department can treat due to lack of specialized health centers. The corporation denies the existence of such health problems.

Another issue is increasing workload this year without corresponding wage increase.

Cerrejon’s bosses have sought to deny workers participation in trade union activities, directly affecting the stability of Sintracarbón. This goes against Article 39 of the Constitution of Colombia which enshrines freedom of association workers in unions without state intervention.

The environmental problem facing the population in La Guajira is another union demand. Most rivers in the department are dry because of mining . The workers have called for measures to protect the environment and restore water sources.

Source: Colombia Informa


Berta Cáceres


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To Mine or not to Mine, that is the Question


Water or Gold? Colombians to Decide

Andy Higginbottom

In an unprecedented move, Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo, the newly-elected mayor of Ibagué (Colombia), has announced that a local referendum will be held on mining and related activities within the municipality.  The referendum is expected to take place in May, in spite of bitter opposition from the mining lobby.

Residents of Ibagué are concerned that mining projects in the area, including AngloGold Ashanti’s La Colosa project, would result in serious environmental impacts, if allowed to go ahead.  Such a referendum (or in Spanish, consulta popular) - in a regional capital of 650,000 people - to debate the fate of large-scale mining, is probably the first of its kind in the world.  There is a growing opposition to mining in the region - last June 50,000 people from all walks of life took to the streets of Ibagué in protest.

Yes to Life, No to Mining

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Campesino strike in Colombia


by Anonymous Eyewitness

The length and breadth of Colombia has seen over the past two and a half weeks multiple protests by Colombian peasant farmers (campesinos) with widespread popular support in the towns and cities of a country whose population is easily 50% rural and whose roots is almost entirely campesino.

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London Mining Network


The London Mining Network (LMN) is an alliance of human rights, development and environmental groups. We pledge to expose the role of companies, funders and government in the promotion of unacceptable mining projects.