MAC: Mines and Communities

Colombia: Change of Ownership at Intercor

Published by MAC on 2002-03-04

Colombia: Change of Ownership at Intercor

4th March 2002

This is the latest news, and a further request for action concerning the activities of coal mining multinationals in Colombia (the most recent urgent action being in December 2001: Exxon subsidiary Intercor attacks community at Tabaco again).

The farming village of Tabaco has now been completely demolished by mining company Intercor so that its huge El Cerrejon Zona Norte mine can expand. The displaced community - overwhelmingly of African-Colombian and Indigenous descent - is still seeking compensation to enable itto find housing and continue farming elsewhere.

Until very recently, Intercor was 100% owned by massive US multinational ExxonMobil (also known as Esso). The final destruction of Tabaco was Exxon's last act before selling the company to a Consortium of three other huge multinationals: Anglo-American (based in South Africa and Britain), BHP-Billiton (based in Australia and Britain) and Glencore (based in Switzerland). These three companies already had a 50% stake in El Cerrejon Zona Norte but Intercor was the operating company. Now they control the whole mining operation and are totally responsible for all that is done there.

Intercor's President was Hernan Martinez. It was Martinez who was responsible for the destruction of Tabaco and the outrageous treatment of its inhabitants. Martinez has been confirmed in post by the new owners and will therefore continue to be responsible for operations at El Cerrejon Zona Norte. The legal representative for the community at Tabaco, Armando Perez, asks that we protest strongly at this move and insist that Martinez be removed from his post as a sign that the Consortium intends to pursue better human rights policies than its predecessors.

Please send protests to the following:

Matthew Taylor, Manager Sustainable Development (Europe),
BHP-Billiton plc, 1 - 3 Strand, London WC2N 5HA.
Tel: 020 7747 3804 Fax: 020 7747 3914

Edward Bickham,
Anglo-American plc, 20 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AN.
Tel: 020 7698 8888 Fax: 020 7698 8500

Matthew Taylor and Edward Bickham have met with Tabaco's lawyer Armando Perez and Indigenous Wayuu leader Remedios Fajardo and have been the contacts with the companies in Britain on this issue.

If you are in the USA you could contact BHP-Billiton at:
1360 Post Oak Boulevard, Suite 150, Houston, Texas 77056-3020.
Tel: 713 961 8500 Fax: 713 961 8400

If you are in Australia you could contact BHP-Billiton at:
Bourke Place, 600 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000.
Tel: 03 9609 3333 Fax: 03 9609 3015

If you have time, please copy any messages that you send, and any answers you receive, to: and


Richard Solly,
Partizans/Colombia Solidarity Campaign

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