Ahead of our Unmasking BHP week of action between 14-22 October, Leobardo Sierra speaks about the impact of a British multinational mining company’s diversion of the river upon which he and his community depends. The community leader of El Rocio village, La Guajira, a region in northern Colombia, talks about the struggle against Carbones del Cerrejón and its illegal and unethical expansion of Cerrejón mine into the Bruno river – the largest opencast coal mine in Latin America.
Video by Democracy Center and London Mining Network
Carbones del Cerrejón is a company owned by three UK mining giants, Anglo American, Glencore and BHP.
In 2017, Colombia’s Constitional Court ruled that the company must stop working on the diversion of the Bruno river and consult with communities that live in the local area, but they ignored both orders. These orders only became public in June 2019, when Carbones del Cerrejón had almost finished blocking the natural course of the river.
In a region ravaged by drought and inequality, the river Bruno is La Guajira’s main water source. The health of the river also determines the functions of the surrounding dry tropical forest, one of the most threatened ecosystems in Colombia.
Take action by writing to the Colombian authorities in the UK and Colombia telling them to guarantee the rights of communities, including their right to participate in decisions about the Bruno river.