El Cerrejon mine: 31 years of displacement, human rights violations and environmental destruction

23 October 2012 - 1:00am
Event

Tuesday 23 October 2012, 12:30pm-1.30pm

War on Want offices, 44-48 Shepherdess Walk, N1 7JP, London

A talk by Colombian community leader Felipe Ustate, President of Asociacion de Desplazados Manantial, La Guajira department

Free event: Organised by War on Want and London Mining Network

Manantial was a small farming community in La Guajira in the north of Colombia. It was removed in 1986 to make way for the enormous opencast Cerrejon coal mine, a mine now owned by three mining companies listed on the London Stock Exchange: Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Xstrata.

A number of other farming communities have been removed, or are facing removal, for mine expansion. Those removed in the early years of the mine - like Manantial - got virtually nothing. Over the years, communities have managed to get better - though still inadequate - relocation deals from the company. This has inspired the people of Manantial and other communities removed in the past to demand a just deal from the current owners of the mine, who are benefitting from earlier injustices. Some of these communities have banded together to form the Federation of Communities Displaced by Mining in La Guajira, FECODEMIGUA.

Felipe Ustate began actively campaigning against the mine and the displacement of his community in 1974. The Asociacion de Desplazados Manatial continues organising and campaigning for their rights to this day, demanding that the government and the multinational corporations which own the mine respond for the damage which they have done to the community and make good the promises they never kept. The Asociacion also works to reconstruct the social tissue of the Manatial community which was so damaged by its forced displacement.

Felipe will speak about his community's experience of the impacts of large-scale mining, and about FECODEMIGUA's continuing struggle for justice.
 
For more information, or to register for the event email pkane@waronwant.org

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