Following a meeting involving the Colombia Solidarity Campaign, Alexander Martínez Rivillas (from the University of the Tolima) and Jeremy Corbyn MP, in which we discussed our concerns about the proposed La Colosa gold mine in Cajamarca, Tolima, he agreed to submit an Early Day Motion (EDM) in order to raise this issue in Parliament.
As you may be aware, in order for the EDM to carry any significant weight, it is of paramount importance for it to attract as many signatures as possible from other MPs. We are therefore asking to PLEASE SEND A QUICK EMAIL TO YOUR MP, urging them to sign the EDM entitled “La Colosa Gold mine in Colombia”. It will only take a couple of minutes to copy and paste the e-mail below and send it to your MP.
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Early Day Motion on La Colosa Gold Mine in Colombia
[your home address]
Dear [ name of your MP],
I am writing to bring to your attention the Early Day Motion entitled “La Colosa Gold mine in Colombia” which has recently been submitted by Jeremy Corbyn MP. It expresses concerns about La Colosa Gold mine, what will be –- if it goes ahead –- the largest open-cast gold mine in South America.
As it is located in the Central Forest Reserve of Colombia, and surrounding area has strategic water sources and is of vital importance to food production, I am concerned about the environmental impact that it will have. Such projects often have a significant social impact, leading to displacement of people, and in Colombia have coincided with increases in violations of human rights.
The EDM expresses the concerns about the environment, and concerns about the safety of those in civil society who are currently peacefully voicing opposition to the project. It also expresses concern about the track record of the company in question, AngloGold Ashanti, which according to a Human Rights Watch report was responsible for funding a paramilitary group in Democratic Republic of Congo, and has also caused environmental and social devastation in Ghana. In January this year, AngloGold Ashanti was awarded the Public Eye award for being the Most Irresponsible Company in the world.
The EDM questions how it is possible that the company, despite having a subsidiary listing on the London Stock Exchange and having 12% and 53% of its investors from the UK and USA respectively, is not subject to OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. This is because its headquarters are in South Africa, and neither Colombia or South Africa are signatories to these guidelines. The EDM concludes by urging the government to enforce stricter regulation so that this and other companies listed in the London Stock Exchange, where they receive significant funding, cannot evade accountability.
More information and references about the concerns of this mining project are in the report available at:
I am writing to you to convey my support for this EDM, and hope that you will consider adding your signature in support as well.
The full-text of the EDM reads:
“That this House expresses its concern about the devastating environmental impacts that the proposed La Colosa open cast gold mine will have on a region of considerable biodiversity and importance for food production; further expresses concern about potential violations of human rights that often coincide with the presence of such projects; notes that the company in question, AngloGold Ashanti, has a track record of environmental and human rights abuses in Africa; further notes that the same company, despite having a listing on the London Stock Exchange and 12% of its investors from the UK, is not subject to OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises; and consequently urges the Government to enforce stricter regulation so that companies listed in the London Stock Exchange cannot evade accountability.”