MAC/20: Mines and Communities

COLOMBIA

Published by MAC on 2007-05-02

COLOMBIA

URGENT! ILLEGAL FIRINGS OF ALL WORKERS AT THE STATE MINING COMPANY “MINERCOL LTDA.” ON MAY 1, THE URIBE GOVERNMENT LAID OFF ALL REMAINING WORKERS AT MINERCOL.

IN HIS INTERNATIONAL TRAVELS, URIBE SAYS THAT HE PROHIBITS CRIMES AGAINST UNIONISTS, THAT HE DOES NOT PERSECUTE UNIONISTS OR DESTROY UNIONS. MEANWHILE, HE FIRES ALL OF THE REMAINING WORKERS AT THE STATE MINING COMPANY, TRYING TO SILENCE THE VOICE OF OUR UNION. WE HAVE BEEN LEADING THE CAMPAIGN TO DENOUNCE THE FOREIGN MINING COMPANIES IN COLOMBIA AS THE PERPETRATORS OF A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THE MILITARY AND PARAMILITARY VIOLENCE AGAINST THE COLOMBIAN PEOPLE. WE CALL URGENTLY FOR SOLIDARITY FROM DEMOCRATIC, HUMAN RIGHTS, AND SOCIAL ORGANIZATIONS AROUND THE WORLD. DO NOT ALLOW THIS NEW CRIME BY URIBE AND HIS MULTINATIONALS TO GO UNPUNISHED.

FACTS:

1.- Today is the 11th anniversary of our struggle for national sovereignty over our mining and energy resources, against the privatization of public enterprises, for the defense of Human Rights in Colombia. The cabal made up of Colombian President Uribe and the governments and multinationals of the developed countries decided to destroy our union, in an act typical of a totalitarian government.

2.- The campaign to eliminate us began in 1996 when the Mining Code proposal stated openly that the World Bank had ordered the closure of the state mining company. Thus began a period of intense struggle on our part to avoid this development. Our goal is to preserve our natural resources for the next generations, and to defend humankind from the depredations of the criminal model of capitalism, that has used corruption and violence to loot the resources, the lives, and the future of the inhabitants of the so-called Third World. Then the Canadian governmental agency CIDA, along with the NGO CERI, the Colombian government, and the CEMEX, HOLCIM, ARGOS, and Ladrillera Santafé cement companies, developed a new Mining Code proposal, and propelled its approval. The new Mining Code forced the closure of MINERCOL Ltda., and it has created major conflicts with peasant, Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities as it has tried to bury our country’s dream of establsihing political sovereignty over its mining and energy resources.

3.- As it has carried out its campaign for national sovereignty over our mining and energy resources, SINTRAMINERCOL has been the victim of the kidnapping of two of its officials, of 7 assassination attempts against its president, of death threats and continuing harassment against the members of its executive board, of searches and a bombing of its headquarters, of all types of violations of the fundamental and labor rights of its members, and of massive and illegal layoffs.

In addition to President Uribe and the former and current Mining Ministers, two Minercol officials have been behind many of these acts: Eduardo Arce Caycedo, the official in charge of the liquidation process, and Mónica P. Illidge, the Administrative Coordinator. These two individuals have violated the Constitution and the Collective Bargaining Law. They have threatened Sintraminercol’s leaders and begun illegal proceedings to speed up the closing of Minercol Ltda.

4.- The decision to fire all of Minercol’s remaining workers, ignoring their union rights, and without permission of a labor court, violates the express prohibition laid out by the Constitutional Court, which prohibits union leaders and workers protected by union guarantees unless ILO requirements are met. It shows total disrespect for the Constitution, the law, and ILO agreements. It shows the fascist direction in which the Colombian state is moving.

REQUESTS

We request that the Colombian state guarantee the respect for the Constitutional rights of all of Sintraminercol’s members, and the immediate reinstatement of all of Minercol’s workers. We request an immediate end to the criminal persecution being carried out by state security officials and agencies.

We request that the Colombian government and the representatives of the multinationals that exploit Colombia’s mineral resources halt their policy of extermination and dismantling of union organizations, that they respect the law and our country’s Social State of Law.

We request that the governments of Canada, Mexico, the U.S., and Switzerland, as well as civil society, the Congress and Parliaments of these countries, begin a Truth, Justice, and Reparations process to uncover the roles that these governments and their multinationals have played in the destruction of the social fabric of our union, Afro-Colombian, indigenous, and other organizations that have been the victims of these governments and multinationals.

A la Fiscalía General de la Nación para que investigue la todas las violaciones a la ley penal por parte de funcionarios estatales, de multinacionales y de los grupos militares-paramilitares, que han atentado contra los afiliados y la infraestructura de SINTRAMINERCOl; para que inicie investigación sobre las irregularidades que se presentan en la liquidación de MINERCOL LTDA., sobre las conductas punibles cometidas por MONICA P. ILLIDGE Y EDUARDO ARCE CAICEDO.

We call upon Colombia’s Attorney General to investigate all violations of the law by state officials, multinationals, and the military-paramilitary groups that have attacked Sintraminercol’s infrastructure and members. We further call upon the Attorney General’s office to investigate the irregularities committed in the process of Minercol’s liquidation, and the crimes committed by Mónica P. Illidge and Eduardo Arce Caicedo.

We call upon Colombia’s Public Prosecutor to guarantee respect for the Constitution and for Sintraminercol’s members.

That social organizations all over the world:

1.- Carry out peaceful protest actions against Colombian consular and diplomatic offices demanding an end to the repression against Sintraminercol, and the immediate reinstatement of the workers who were fired.

2.- Call for the suspension of imports and new contracts with the multinationals and the Colombian monopolies that are implicated in the repression against Colombian social organizations.

3.- We call upon the workers at these companies to carry out protest actions calling for an end to the repression against Sintraminercol and the immediate reinstatement of the workers who were fired.

4.- Demand that the U.S., British and Israeli governments halt all military aid to Colombia. The Colombian government is implicated in serious human rights violations, and the aid is aimed at protecting the economic interests of the donor countries’ multinationals.

ENDORSING ORGANIZATIONS:

SINTRAMINERCOL, SINTRAMIN, FENALTRASE, FENASINTRAP, FUNTRAENERGÉTICA, CUT DIRECTIVA BOGOTA Y CUNDINAMARCA, CUT DEPARTAMENTO DE DERECHOS HUMANOS, SINTRAELECOL COSTA ATLÁNTICA, SINTRADEPARTAMENTO ANTIOQUIA, UNEB, USO, ASOCIACIÓN ECATE, NOMADESC, ACACEVA, SINTRAENTEMDICCOL, CAMPAÑA PROHIBIDO OLVIDAR, SINTRAMIENERGETICA SUBDIRECTIVA EL PASO, ORGANIZACIÓN WAYUU MUNSURAT.

Bogotá, Colombia. May 2, 2007.

Please send messages to the Colombian authorities, the multinationalis, and the Embassies of Colombia, Switzerland, Mexico, Canada, and the United States, with a copy to Sintraminercol.

Ambassador of Canada en Colombia
Carrera 7 #115-33 piso 14
Telf: 57-1-6759800 Fax: 57-1- 6579912. E-mail: bgota@international.gc.ca

Ambassador of Switzerland in Colombia SR. Thomas Kupfer
Carrera 9a No. 74-08 piso 11. Bogotá Colombia. Teléfono 57-1-3497230. Fax 57-1-2359803.

HOLCIM (Colombia S.A.) Calle 114 No. 9-45 Torre B piso 12 Bogotá Colombia. Teléfono (57-1) 6295558 o al Fax (57-1) 6294629.

The Chief Executive, HOLCIM, Hagenholzstrasse 85, CH-8050 Zurich, Switzerland.

CEMEX
Calle 99 No. 9 A-54 Piso 7
Teléfono: 57-1-603 9000
Fax: 57-1-646 9000

Ladrillera Santafé
Cra. 9 No. 74-08 Of: 602
Teléfono: 57-1-319 0330
Fax: 57-1-2118766
E-mail: santafe@santafe.com.co

Presidencia de la República
Dr. Álvaro Uribe Vélez, Cra. 8 No..7-26, Palacio de Nariño, Santa fe de Bogotá.
Fax: (+57 1) 566.20.71 E-mail:

Vicepresidencia de la República
Dr Francisco Santos E-mail:fsantos@presidencia.gov.co

Ministro de Minas y Energía
Dr. Hernán Martínez Torres, Transversal 45 No. 26-86 Bogotá. Teléfono (57-1) 324 5262 email: minas.energia@minminas.gov.co

Ministro de Protección Social.
Dr. Diego Palacio Betancourt
Carrera 13 No. 32-76 Piso 22 Bogotá D.C. Teléfono 57-1-3365066 Fax 57-1-3360182. E-mail: Dpalacio@minproteccionsocial.gov.co

Procuraduría General de la Nación
Dr. Edgardo José Maya Villazón. Carrera 5 No. 15-80 Bogotá. Fax: (+57 1)342.97.23. E-mail: reygon@procuraduria.gov.co anticorrupcion@presidencia.gov.co

Fiscal General de la Nación.
Dr. Mario Iguaran. Diagonal 22B #52-01 Bogotá, Fax: 57-1-5702000 ext. 2017 o 2019. e-mail:

Defensoría del Pueblo
Dr. Volmar Antonio Pérez Ortiz. Calle 55 No. 10-32 Bogotá. Fax: (+571) 640 04 91. E- mail:secretaria_privada@hotmail.com

Permanent Mission of Colombia at the United Nations in Geneva
Chemin du Champ d'Anier 17-19, 1209 Geneva. FAX: (+4122)791.07.87; (+4122)798.45.55. E-mail mission.colombia@ties.itu.int

SINTRAMINERCOL: (New address) Diagonal 33 No. 13A-26, Bogotá. Phone and Fax (57-1) 5612829 e-mail: sintrami@telecom.com.co

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