After almost 30 years of exploiting two large coal mines in northern Colombia, causing serious social, human rights and environmental impacts for the local population, the multinational Glencore, through its subsidiary Prodeco, announced this month the closure of its mining operations in Colombia. PAX is worried that Prodeco-Glencore's decision implies that the mining company will avoid its responsibility towards the victims of violence in the Cesar mining region.
PAX had hoped that mining company Prodeco would heed the call of the victims of violence from this region to engage in a dialogue with them on truth and reconciliation. Over the past three years, several constructive conversations have been held between company executives and the Asamblea Campesina del Cesar, a regional victims' organization from the coal mining region, in order to build mutual trust and define topics to be discussed in such a dialogue.
Prodeco's recent announcement that it intends to close its operations in Colombia will jeopardize prospects for such a dialogue. In addition, there are fears that the company will not fulfil its responsibilities with regard to remedying its human rights impacts according to international standards.
Having accompanied the Asamblea Campesina for many years, PAX wrote this open letter to the CEO of Glencore in which we demand the following: