Photo of the Cerrejón mine courtesy of Tanenhaus

Wave of Indigenous Resistance Sweeps Colombia

In the northeastern tip of Colombia, fierce resistance to Cerrejón, one of the world’d largest open-pit coal mines, has seen indigenous communities block highways and railway lines in recent weeks. These protests take place in the context of a wider movement of indigenous people trying to safeguard their territories. “In 30 years of pillaging natural resources, [the company] has achieved absolutely nothing positive for us,” says Yasmin Romero Epiayu, an indigenous Wayúu woman who resides near the Cerrejón mine in La Guajira, Colombia. Instead, Romero points to the threats to local wildlife, soil, vegetation and waterways that the mine poses for many indigenous communities in the region. The sheer scale of the mine is hard to imagine – Cerrejón produces 32 million tonnes of coal per year, accounting for four percent of the world coal market.

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On Sept 19, 2023 ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit in New York City, climate activists gathered for a rally and civil disobedience outside Bank of America Tower in Midtown Manhattan as part of the March to End Fossil Fuels wave of actions resulting in multiple arrests. Activists demand Bank of America to “Defund Climate Chaos and Defend Human Rights” Photo: Erik McGregor (CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed)

Let’s Save Each Other

Let’s Save Each Other

Illustration by Stephanie McMillan. Used with permission