For decades, guerrillas, army and paramilitary forces have been fighting in Colombia for control of the country. Cesar, a department in the north of Colombia, is rich in coal. Between 1996 and 2006 paramilitary forces murdered thousands of people in the region, and hundreds of people disappeared and many tens of thousands were driven from their land. Perpetrators and witnesses have declared that these paramilitary forces are being paid by the mining companies.
PAX defends the victims of the conflict surrounding coal mining in northern Colombia. We have helped set up an organization for victims and their relatives that arranges psychosocial and legal support. Through political lobbying and campaigns aimed at Dutch and German energy companies that purchase substantial quantities of coal from Colombia, PAX makes every possible effort to establish and maintain dialogue with the mining companies and to secure remedy for the victims.
PAX’s activities in Colombia fall under the topic Natural Resources, Conflict & Human Rights. Other programmes within the same topic include:
Mining activities have been going on in conflict or high-risk areas leading to adverse impacts on human rights. In Colombia, PAX works together with local communities and victims' organizations in the Cesar department to address these impacts, improve the security situation and promote dialogue between different actors in the region.
Since 2001 PAX has committed itself to stop and prevent conflicts around oil extraction in (South) Sudan. Responsible oil extraction can contribute to just peace.