PAX calls for import stop on blood coal

Image: Kolentransport in Colombia. Foto © Daniel Maissan

March 3, 2016

PAX is urging eight European energy companies to stop buying coal from mining companies Drummond and Prodeco/Glencore. According to PAX these mining companies have so far not made any efforts to reconcile with victims of grave human rights violations in the Colombian mining region of Cesar in which they operate.

Victims have been waiting for more than ten years for the remedy they are entitled to. Marianne Moor, head of the Latin America department of PAX: “The energy companies have been well aware of the human rights violations in their supply chain for many years. The actions they have taken so far have not yet had any significant impact. The time has come for them to stop buying blood coal until decisive steps have been taken by the mining companies towards effective remedy for the victims.” This week PAX sent the energy companies Dong, Vattenfall, RWE/Essent, E.ON, EDF, Steag Engie and EnBW  a letter stating this request.

So far no recognition nor reperations
According to several sworn testimonies, suppliers of Dutch energy companies – mining giants Drummond and Prodeco/Glencore – have supported illegal paramilitary groups in the Cesar mining region by structurally financing them and exchanging strategic information. Between 1996 and 2006, at least 3,100 people were killed and at least 55,000 people were driven from their land. To this day, the victims have never received recognition or reparations from the companies for their suffering. Instead, many victims who stand up for their rights are intimidated.

Energy companies should back-up own words
Over the last five years, PAX and several other European NGOs have focused on the mitigation of human rights violations in the coal mine region of Cesar and have strived for remedy for the thousands of victims of violence in that area. Unfortunately, this has so far not yielded clear results on the ground. The mining companies have not taken any steps towards a reconciliation process for the victims of violence surrounding their mines and have not cooperated constructively. Marianne Moor: “The energy companies themselves have stated that insufficient improvement should lead to disengagement. Since this is obviously the case, they should back-up their own words by deeds and suspend their trading relation with the mining companies. “


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