Ports also have a role to play against blood coal

Image: Niet alleen energiebedrijven, maar ook havens en kolenterminals die Colombiaanse bloedkolen overslaan moeten verhaal halen bij de steenkoolmijnen van Drummond en Prodeco, stelt PAX. Foto Marc

March 23, 2015

Not only energy companies but also ports and coal terminals that transship Colombian blood coal should seek redress from the Drummond and Prodeco coal mines, says PAX. These mining companies should make an effort to acknowledge and compensate the thousands of victims of paramilitary violence around their mines during the period 1996-2006, and actively combat current human rights violations.

Dutch ports play a key role in the transshipment of coal. In 2013, 30,665 million tons of coal were transshipped in Rotterdam. In Amsterdam the figure was 18.5 million tons. These figures originate from data provided by the ports. Previous research by SOMO revealed that over 40% originates from Colombia, including coal from the Drummond and Prodeco mines.
As major importers of Colombian coal the Dutch port companies and coal terminals cannot remain indifferent to the situation. They also have a duty to address abuse in their supply chain in accordance with international guidelines.

Human rights violations
The most persistent problem in this chain is still the tens of thousands of victims of human rights violations in the Colombian mining region of Cesar.
In ‘The Dark Side of Coal’ report by PAX perpetrators and witnesses declare that Drummond and Prodeco paid the paramilitaries and exchanged strategic information with them. Victims that stood up for their rights were threatened further and to this day have not received any acknowledgement or compensation. Drummond and Prodeco are still profiting from these human rights violations, partly because they are operating on or adjacent to stolen land.
PAX also believes that Dutch ports must openly urge mining companies to take part in a reconciliation dialogue with the victims.

Meanwhile, Minister Ploumen has pledged her commitment to strive for a dialogue between the victims and the mining companies. The issue is also on the map at Dutch energy companies. During a visit to Colombia in November last year, five Dutch energy companies called on the Drummond mining company to commit to reconciliation with the victims of serious human rights violations.


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