Giving it away: the consequences of an unsustainable mining policy in Colombia

Mining in Colombia has been singled out to be one of the major drivers of economic growth for the Colombian economy, and yet this report reveals that in the case of coal, the Colombian Government was actually giving it away in 2007 and 2009. The lack of an effective and transparent tax system in Colombia has resulted in some multinational corporations making more from tax exemptions than they pay in corporate income taxes and royalties.

Colombian economic policy is based on the extractives industry being one of the major locomotives pushing economic growth over the next decade. However, this policy has been promoted in the context of an ongoing internal conflict and human rights abuses, including forced displacement. 

The Colombian government has passed a transitional justice law to restore approximately 2.2 million hectares of land that has been usurped or abandoned during the conflict. The drive to have Colombia known regionally as a ‘mining country’ is being undertaken before land restitution policies have been implemented, increasing the difficulty of returning stolen lands to those who have been forcibly displaced.

Download the full report in English and Spanish.