With the 'Stop Blood Coal campaign' PAX aims to make a difference in the lives of tens of thousands people who have become victims of paramilitary in the mining area of Cesar, Colombia. We support these victims in their search for truth and reconciliation and push mining companies to take their responsibility and contribute to actual remedy for the victims.
From 1996 to 2006, residents of the Cesar mining region of Colombia, from which European power utilities source most of their coal, have suffered greatly from paramilitary violence. At least 3100 people have been murdered, 55,000 farmers have been driven from their land and hundreds of people have disappeared. Even today, the atrocities faced by victims and their surviving relatives have never been acknowledged, let along compensation being awarded.
Perpetrators and witnesses have declared under oath in legal processes and to PAX (as registered in The Dark Side of Coal report) how the Cesar-based Drummond and Prodeco mining companies have supported the paramilitary forces with finance, equipment and information. The mining companies deny any involvement, but those victims of human rights violations who stand up for their rights, are still being threatened. PAX expects that governments and energy companies, in their role as buyers, hold their suppliers - the coal mines - accountable for the situation of the victims.
15-02-2017 On Saturday 4 February, 55-year-old Edilberto Cantillo Mesa was murdered in his home town of El Copey, located in the Colombian blood coal region of Cesar. Mesa was a community leader and a member of a local organisation that fights for land restitution on behalf of farmers who have been violently driven from their property. PAX is shocked by his death. Mesa is the fourth victim in Cesar in recent months.Natural Resources, Conflict & Human Rights, Dealing with the Past Colombia
24-01-2017 95 civil society organisations around the world are calling on the Colombian government and mining companies to take action against the continuing violence in the Colombian mining region Cesar. The appeal is a direct response to the murder of Aldemar Parra Garcia on January 7th this year.Natural Resources, Conflict & Human Rights, Dealing with the Past Colombia
17-10-2016 Energy supplier Vattenfall announced yesterday that it will continue buying blood coal from Colombia. As a result, the company that calls itself a leader in sustainability will carry on profiting from grave human rights violations. PAX campaign leader Wouter Kolk commented, “Vattenfall says that it stands for human rights and sustainability, yet in practice it opts for cheap blood coal. That's why we're repeating our call to customers of Vattenfall’s Dutch subsidiary Nuon to switch to a more decent alternative.”Natural Resources, Conflict & Human Rights, Dealing with the past Colombia