The Cerrejon open-cast Coal Mine, located in the south of the province of La Guajira, Colombia, is currently owned in equal shares by three multinational mining companies: Anglo American, BHP and Glencore, all of them listed in the London Stock Exchange.
Since the beginning of the project in the 1970s, the building of infrastructure for the railway and the construction of the coal export port, Puerto Bolivar, generated the displacement and breakdown of networks of support among Wayuu indigenous people in the north of La Guajira. The later development of the mine also displaced and forced the relocation of African-descent and Wayuu groups.
The following are two stories that Wayuu and African-descent communities living in La Guajira have shared with us about their experiences of having the Cerrejon open-cast coal Mine in their territories for more than 30 years.
The first is about the African-descent Community of Tabaco, which was violently displaced 19 years ago and is still waiting for comprehensive compensation while having to face Covid-19.
The second story relates to the devastation of water sources in this dry area of Colombia due to the expansion of the Cerrejon mine, and the desire to extract coal from underneath the Bruno Stream when there is a world climate crisis that calls for the end of coal use.
If you want to support communities in La Guajira during the pandemic, please consider donating here for communities around the mine:
and here for communities along the coal export railway: