Colombia Solidarity Campaign

- Fighting for Peace with Justice -


Victims of March 21st: a massacre of prisoners for protesting in the Modelo prison in Bogotá

Victims of March 21st: a massacre of prisoners for protesting in the Modelo prison in Bogotá


By: Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )


An escape plan in question


On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state forcibly erupted into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83 in response to the protests and demands of the prisoners regarding the appalling sanitary conditions that reign in the prisons and are objectively a matter of concern regarding a future outbreak of Covid-19.  The director of the INPEC (Colombian Prison Service) and the Minister for Justice, Margarita Cabello tried to justify the massacre alleging that they hadn't sought to put down the protests but rather to prevent a mass escape plan they had uncovered some days previously.


This lie was unquestioningly repeated by the entire media.  Caracol (TV and Radio channel) even published recordings of prisoners speaking by phone.  But anyone, with any knowledge of the dynamics in prison who listens to the fragmented conversations filtered to the press would notice that one couldn't reach the conclusion from them that there was an escape plan being hatched.  But even if it were true, more questions arise than answers given.


Colombia Killings - a Dirty War

In response to the Guardian's article on 23rd March (see link below) Dr Andy Higginbottom, Secretary Colombia Solidarity Campaign wrote this letter:

Dear Guardian Letters

The sad thing about the constant assassination of social leaders and human rights defenders is that it has been normalised and no longer seen as newsworthy, so your report  “Colombian death squads exploiting coronavirus lockdown to kill activists is welcome for returning the spotlight on this ongoing nightmare. Three such killings occur every week, and have been since the signing of the peace agreement between the FARC guerrillas and the government on 26 November 2016.

The principal responsibility lies with right-wing paramilitaries targeting presumed leftists; according to allegations cited in the UN’s 2018 report, five times more so. Moreover, the latest UN mission records that 173  demobilised FARC combatants  have been assassinated, alongside the ‘303 killings of human rights defenders and social leaders’, up to the end of 2019

There is a further Covid-19 twist to the appalling human rights situation in Colombia. In the early hours of Sunday morning, at La Modelo prison in Bogotá, state forces killed at least 23 prisoners and injured another 80 or so. The inmates were protesting “against overcrowding and poor health services during the coronavirus outbreak”.

This is not peace, it is a very dirty war.


Dr. Andy Higginbottom

Secretary Colombia Solidarity Campaign


New death threats against Wayuu Women’s Force

New death threats have been issued against CSC’s friends in indigenous Colombian organisation Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu (Wayuu Women’s Force). Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu has been heavily involved in the struggle for justice in the face of the environmental damage and social dislocation cased by the Cerrejon coal mine, owned by London-listed companies Anglo American, BHP and Glencore.


Tabaco - still no justice after 18 years.

On 9 August 2001 the Afro-Descendant community of Tabaco was forcibly displaced from their ancestral land to give way to the biggest open cast coal mine in Latin America: Cerrejon. The mine is currently owned by Anglo American, BHP and Glencore, three multinational mining companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, with very high profits.

Members of the Colombia Solidarity Campaign, London Mining Network, War on Want and many others in more recent years, have been witness to the suffering and losses caused to the people of Tabaco and the environment during all these years. Today, 18 years after that tragedy, we stand in solidarity with Tabaco and support their demands. Please see below a translation of the invitation from the Junta Social Pro-reubicación de Tabaco (Tabaco Relocation Committee) to commemorate this date.

Click below to watch a short film in Spanish and read more.


Saving the river: the struggle for Colombia's Arroyo Bruno

Below is a detailed account of a meeting which took place between the community representatives, international observers and representatives of Cerrejon Coal in La Guajira.

On Monday 9 July, representatives of LMN member group Colombia Solidarity Campaign, Swiss NGO Aktionsgruppe Schweiz Kolumbien, US-based North Shore Colombia Solidarity and other international observers attended an event at the Centro Cultural, Riohacha, La Guajira, close to Colombia's massive Cerrejon opencast coal mine. Cerrejon Coal is owned by London-listed mining multinationals Anglo American, BHP and Glencore.

The subject under discussion was the diversion of the Arroyo Bruno (Bruno Stream), an important tributary of this arid region's only major river, the Rio Rancheria, which flows across Cerrejon's mining concession. The company has diverted the Arroyo Bruno into a new channel to the north of its natural course in order to mine the coal underneath it. Local communities objected and three of them took legal action. The Colombian Constitutional Court ruled that the river should be returned to its natural course, but Cerrejon Coal has failed to comply with the ruling.


Mining company disregards Colombia’s Constitutional Court to exploit Bruno river

On June 5-6th 2019, the Inter-institutional Roundtable for the Arroyo Bruno [in La Guajira community, Colombia] convened within the framework of the SU-698 Sentence of 2017. In this way, the Constitutional Court safeguards the fundamental rights to water, food security and the health of more than 30 Wayuu communities in La Guajira, which are under threat due to the diversion of the Arroyo Bruno by the company Carbones del Cerrejón.


Open letter to mining companies at Cerrejon, Colombia


Newsletter May 2019

The May 2019 Newsletter:

Colombian Social Movements: Resisting Extinction

Articles on

· 25 April National Strike

· Infrastructure, Corruption and Conflict in Colombia

· The Dirty War : 600 Assassinated in 30 months

Operación Dragon: At Last Some Accountability

Colombians Join XR Protest

The struggle against Cerrejón Coal

Colombia Solidarity Campaign meets monthly. Next meeting is at 6.30pm on Monday 20 May in Central London. For details, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Download this file (Newsletter May 2019 Final.pdf)Newsletter May 2019 Final.pdf[ ]5869 Kb
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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.

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