June 11, 2019

Cerrejón denounces new threats against Sintracarbón union leader Igor Díaz and calls for a Security Council meeting

Once again, Cerrejón wishes to publicly express our concern and condemnation of the ongoing threats against union and social leaders that have taken place in our area over recent months. We find it necessary to repeat our statements due to the events of last weekend, when our employee Igor Díaz received new threats, and because of events with other social leaders in the municipality of Manaure (La Guajira), who were also threatened in a pamphlet that has been circulated in the region.

At this point, Cerrejón feels we must insist, again, on a request made to La Guajira’s regional government on May 14 calling urgently for a meeting of the Security Council. This meeting will have participation from various government agencies, organizations and the affected leaders to analyse and agree on comprehensive protective measures to address this crucial topic for everyone concerned. As a new governor has been named in the department, the company expects this meeting to be called as soon as possible.

In light of these new events, the company urges the authorities to undertake all necessary preventive measures to protect and support these leaders and keep them safe. We also wish to repeat the urgency of moving forward with investigations to find the source of these threats so those responsible can be brought to justice. In view of these latest events, Cerrejón once again calls on the National Police, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Ministry of the Interior, the National Security Unit and other authorities to make it a priority to carry out a risk analysis and take whatever measures are necessary to protect these people.

We can’t begin to express how concerned we are about the repeated threats against our workers this year. These threats are about intimidation and the desire to stop the free exercise of social and trade union rights in the region, which is completely unacceptable. We call for these actions to stop immediately and to see concrete results from the legal investigations into them.

The company will continue to provide assistance and support to Mr. Díaz to make sure all the measures needed to protect him and keep him safe are fully implemented. At Cerrejón, respect for the human rights of our workers, contractors and neighbouring communities is a priority we take very seriously. Consequently, we insist that clear steps be taken and sustainable solutions established to stop these disturbing episodes from continuing to happen in La Guajira and the rest of the country.