unmasking Glencore: A toxic legacy in Colombia and Peru

With our friends ABColombia, Peru Support Group and War on Want, we’re pleased to be hosting the UK leg of an international tour of speakers from Colombia and Peru. These speakers, who come to us from Indigenous and mining-affected communities, will be speaking about the toxic legacy that Swiss mining giant Glencore brings with it. In Colombia, Glencore is currently attempting to bring a number of cases against the government using the controversial ISDS mechanism and wants to expand its Cerrejon open-pit coal mine. In Peru, Glencore also wants to expand mining at the Antapaccay copper mine, despite concerns about water and air pollution affecting local people. Join us on 27 November to hear directly from people organising to resist the abuses of this multi-billion dollar corporation.

Leobardo Alberto Sierra Frias, Wayuu Indigenous community leader. He was born on the banks of the Bruno stream (Arroyo Bruno).

An environmental defender seeking to protect the integrity of the Bruno stream, which is the community’s water and food source, this is a sacred river, fundamental to the spirits of their community.

Jenny Paola Ortiz Fonseca, researcher at the Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular (Cinep/PPP). For the past nine years she has been documenting the serious human rights violations caused in the department of La Guajira as a result of extractive activities in the mining and energy sector.

Paula Portela, Censat Agua Viva (Friends of the Earth Colombia) researcher specialising in large-scale coal mining impacts in Colombia, energy transition, fair mining closure plans and the role of women in the defence of territory.

Elsa Merma Ccahua community environmental human rights and health defender.

She is the president of the Association of Women Defenders of the K’ana territory and culture in Espinar, as well as the Organizing Secretary of the National Platform of People Affected by Metals, Metalloids and other Toxic Chemical Substances (la Plataforma Nacional de Afectados por Metales, Metaloides y otras Sustancias Químicas Tóxicas).

Paul Maquet author and researcher specialising in environmental and climate issues. His writings on the socio-environmental aspects of Peruvian reality include “Myths and realities about mining in Peru” (PDTG, 2010) and “Water management in Peru: analysis from the paradigm of care” ( 2021). He regularly publishes articles in the newspaper La República and is director of the program “Fuera de la Caja”.