BHP, Glencore, Anglo American face OECD investigation over environmental damage and human rights abuses at Colombian coal mine
Jan 19, 2021 1 min, 8 secs

The mine has operated for 30 years and has long been accused by the local community, including the Indigenous Wayuu people, of forced evictions, pollution and human rights abuses.

"We are focusing on the harms caused on the ground in Colombia to Indigenous communities and Afro-Colombian communities who have been severely affected both in human rights terms but also in environmental terms by the operations of the mine, which has resulted in the displacement of entire communities, the diversion of entire rivers and a significant amount of air pollution," he told the ABC.

In September last year, UN special rapporteur on human rights and the environment David Boyd said Cerrejon had seriously damaged the environment and the health of the Wayuu, Colombia's largest Indigenous group.

Last year, Colombia's Constitutional Court also ordered Cerrejon to protect health and the environment, after it found high concentrations of harmful metals were present in the blood of people in communities living nearby.

In November, Cerrejon said it had reached a preliminary agreement with the traditional owners to comply with environmental and health requirements in its operations, build a community health centre, rehabilitate the environment and carry out other measures ordered by the court.

A report from Human Rights Watch last year said there were high rates of malnutrition, especially among rural Indigenous communities in the La Guajira region.

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