Wayuú and Afro-descendant communities, resettled and historically affected by the Cerrejón Limited open-pit coal mine, decided to block the southern part of the mining operation in La Guajira due to the non-compliance of Cerrejón Limited, today, September 1, 2022.
Some of the resettled communities and also communities present in the area of influence of the mine, among them Barrancón, Manantialito, Wayuu Indigenous Reserve of San Francisco, Papayal, Roche, Patilla, Chancleta, Wayuu Indigenous Reserve of Tamaquito II, Las Casitas, the path Sierra Azul and Sabana al Medio, all communities historically affected by Cerrejón Limited, made the decision to block the southern part of the Cerrejón coal exploitation operation, due to non-compliance with the agreements established with the resettled communities on issues such as access to water, in addition to issues related with the violation of ethnic rights in the municipality of Barrancas and the department of La Guajira due to the impacts of coal mining. The blockade was set up on the national road that leads to the south of La Guajira, as well as on the Tajo Annex.
The communities demand the presence of delegates from Glencore, the Swiss-based multinational mining company that owns the mine, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Ministry of the Environment, to reach an agreed solution.
London Mining Network and member group Colombia Solidarity Campaign support the demands made by the communities, because for years we have witnessed the negative effect of the Cerrejon coal mine on the life and territory of the communities. We respectfully ask the Colombian authorities and Glencore to listen and provide a solution to their demands in collaboration with the communities.
Similarly, we are concerned about the safety of the protesting communities, which as defenders of territory and life may be threatened in Colombia. Therefore, we ask the Colombian authorities to ensure the integrity of the protesters and Glencore to establish a path of dialogue to resolve the communities’ claims.