May 13, 2019

Cerrejón condemns threats against fuerza de mujeres wayuu leaders

Cerrejón wishes to once again state our concern and repudiation of new threats aimed at members of the Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu organization, made public by this group as well as by human rights activists who support them. These threats, specifically, and all of the others made in La Guajira and the country, are entirely unacceptable.

Since the moment in 2016 when the company learned about the first case of threats of this type against Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu, Cerrejón has repeatedly requested that the competent authorities take relevant measures to avoid any act that may affect the life and integrity of these human rights and environmental leaders and defenders in La Guajira. Given the persistence of the threats against members of this organization and their families, Cerrejón must insist on the urgency of moving forward in investigating the source of these threats and in defining suitable protective measures to protect them. For this reason, the company requests that the authorities take all the necessary actions and notify the leaders in a timely fashion on the measures adopted to guarantee their protection and to bring to justice those responsible for these acts.

Cerrejón also wishes to express our support and acknowledgement of the work the Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu organization, as well as other organizations and leaders, do in the territory. Although approaches on the part of the company and of this organization differ when it comes to mining activity, the company respects the opinions and viewpoints of these leaders and recognizes the importance of their role in the territory and their defence of human rights, contributing as such to making the communities stronger.

Guillermo Fonseca, President of Cerrejón, expressed his repudiation of these cases during the opening of the 5th National Conference on Mining, which is currently taking place in Cartagena: “On behalf of myself and Cerrejón, I want to express our repudiation of the threats and attacks on human rights and environmental leaders and defenders. Cerrejón has been very clear about our position, that we repudiate these acts, and I want to take this opportunity to confirm this and ask that these attacks and threats stop, allowing the defence of rights in the regions to be carried out freely and safely”.