ABColombia’s delegation report on: Business, Environment and Human Rights, Justice and Sustainable Peace, and Women and Conflict related sexual violence.
The Delegation met in La Guajira with Afro- Colombian and Indigenous Peoples impacted by the Carbones de Cerrejón (Cerrejón) open pit coal mine, and the Cañaverales community in the area of impact of the proposed Best Coal Company (BCC) mine. In Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (SNSM) and met with four indigenous tribes, Kogi, Kankuamo, Wiwa and Arhuaco and visited the site of the proposed Besotes Dam. The thematic areas covered by the Delegation were Business, Environmental and Human Rights, the Peace Process and Women, Violence and Transitional Justice.
The Delegation visited the largest open pit coal mine in Latin America, Cerrejón, and spoke with the communities and the mine company. This mine company was jointly owned by multinational giants BHP, Anglo American, and Glencore until January 2022; Glencore is now the sole owner. Glencore and the previous joint owners are registered on the London Stock Exchange, whereas their coal sales arm, the Coal Marketing Company (CMC), is registered in Ireland, and Ireland’s Electricity Supply Board (ESB) is a prominent purchaser of the coal.
The Delegation went to La Guajira to hear from the Wayuu Indigenous Peoples and the Afro-Colombian Communities impacted by the mine and engaged in decades of struggle to have their fundamental rights upheld, to protect their sacred spaces and the biodiversity of their territory. Over the years the Courts have recognised the violation of human and environmental rights and issued a list of orders with which Cerrejón has largely not complied, or only partially.