MAC: Mines and Communities

Colombia-resolution On The Cerrejón Mine In Colombia

Published by MAC on 2006-04-26
Source: Salem City Council


Salem City Council

Resolution on the Cerrejón Mine in Colombia

The following resolution was passed by the Salem City Council, Massachusetts, USA, on April 26, 2006, and forwarded to the Colombian government and the mining companies accused of human rights violations in the Guajira:

WHEREAS, Salem Harbor Station, located in the City of Salem, MA, consumes coal produced in the Cerrejón Zona Norte mine in La Guajira, Colombia;

WHEREAS, since the development of the mine in 1982 the indigenous Wayuu people of La Guajira have been displaced from their lands and had their traditional means of livelihood destroyed by loss of land and industrial contamination;

WHEREAS, in August 2001 the Afro-Colombian village of Tabaco was bulldozed by Exxon Mibil, then half owner of the mine, which included the destruction of many homes, the town's church and school to make room for expansion of the mine;

WHEREAS, residents of Tabaco appealed to the Colombian Supreme Court for the relocation and reconstruction of their towns;

WHEREAS, the Colombian Supreme Court ruled in May, 2002, in favor of the villagers and their request for relocation and reconstruction of their town, and ordered the Mayor of Hatonuevo to oversee the reconstruction;

WHEREAS, two Colombians, Wayuu leader Remedios Fajardo and Tabaco's lawyer Armando Pérez Araúgo, visited Salem in May, 2002 and in April, 2006 Mr. José Julio Pérez visited Salem to ask for Salem's support in expressing solidarity with and demanding justice and relocation for the people who live in the mining zone;

WHEREAS; officials of Dominion issued a statement as follows: "Dominion is sympathetic to the problems this village faces. We expect all of our suppliers-domestic and foreign-to adhere to all rules and regulations governing their operations. Dominion would like to see a just resolution to these issues." (Daniel A. Weekly, Director, Northeast Government Affairs, Dominion Resources, Tuesday, April 18, 2006)

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, by the City Council of the City of Salem, that the City Council supports the Colombia Supreme Court's decision and requests that said decision be carried out promptly and effectively, so that the inhabitants of Tabaco can rebuild their community and lead productive, shared lives;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council urges that any further mine expansion be conditioned on peaceful and just negotiations that guarantee residents in the mining area basic human rights: right to live, right to subsistence by one's own labor, and the right to human dignity;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that as a community hosting a coal powered generating facility, we condemn violations of human rights by all actors involved in Colombia's conflict, including guerrilla groups, military, paramilitary, police, multinational corporations and foreign agents, including U.S. defense contractors; we express our solidarity with all Colombians working for nonviolent, just, political solutions to the conflict in Colombia, and we encourage the establishment of an ongoing relationship with organizations in the Guajira working peacefully for the human and democratic rights of the Wayuu indigenous people (Yanama) and the villagers of Tabaco (Comité Pro-Reubicación de Tabaco).

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council supports the site visit of La Guajira, Colombia and the Village of Tabaco by the Witness for Peace Delegation.

Home | About Us | Companies | Countries | Minerals | Contact Us
© Mines and Communities 2013. Web site by Zippy Info