Colombia Solidarity Campaign

- Fighting for Peace with Justice -

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Campaign commentary on Colombia

Coal dust and disturbed dreams

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The Cerrejon coal mine

By Richard Solly, member of Colombia Solidarity Campaign and Co-ordinator of London Mining Network

In August I participated in a delegation to the province of La Guajira in Colombia,  organised by US-based Witness for Peace. We visited communities affected by the Cerrejon Coal mine, owned by London-listed mining multinationals Anglo American, BHP and Glencore.

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Fear and loathing in La Guajira

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Report by Richard Solly of Colombia Solidarity Campaign and Co-ordinator of London Mining Network

It is sad to see fear on the faces of people you love because of the threats they are receiving.

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CERREJON WORKERS ON STRIKE

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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

 

Campesino strike in Colombia

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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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The Colombian Government sows terror: the cases of Cajamarca and Castilla (Tolima)

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José Antonio Gutiérrez D.

As examples of the unprecedented criminal violence with which the social protest has been repressed here are the cases of two localities in the department of Tolima: the municipality of Cajamarca and the community of Castilla in the municipality of Coyaima. It must be stressed that these are not exceptional cases, rather two more cases of the officially-endorsed violence against the people that has assailed the whole country.

Image of one of those wounded by a bullet in Castilla, Coyaima, Tolima

Image of one of those wounded by a bullet in Castilla, municipality of Coyaima (Tolima)

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London Mining Network

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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.