Members of indigenous Wayuu communities recently blocked the railway carrying coal from the Cerrejon mine (a joint venture of BHP Billiton, Glencore and Anglo American) to the export port on the coast. The protest was violently attacked by police. The protest came in the wake of yet another child death from malnutrition in the area.
A Colombian court recently ordered a halt to work on the diversion of the Arroyo River by the Cerrejon Coal Company. Water is a particularly senstive issue given the aridity of the area, the severity of the most recent drought andheavy water use by the mine.
Water is at the heart of continuing disputes between Cerrejon Coal and the relocated indigenous community of Tamaquito, which features in a full length film documentary, La Buena Vida. Determined to save his community from forced resettlement, community leader Jairo Fuentes negotiates with the mine’s operators which soon becomes a fight to survive.
Finally, an article by Professor Avi Chomsky deals with community displacements around the Cerrejon coal mine, concentrating on the case of Tabaco.