Open letter to the President of Cerrejón Coal and the Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers of Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Glencore
7 June 2016
Roberto Junguito, President, Cerrejón Coal
Sir John Parker, Chairman, Anglo American
Mark Cutifani, Chief Executive, Anglo American
Jac Nasser, Chairman, BHP Billiton
Andrew Mackenzie, Chief Executive Officer, BHP Billiton
Anthony Hayward, Chairman, Glencore
Ivan Glasenberg, Chief Executive Officer, Glencore
We are writing to reiterate our concern about the behaviour of Cerrejón Coal towards the communities around its operations in La Guajira, Colombia.
Diversion of the Arroyo Bruno
We are aware that Cerrejón Coal has received the various permissions necessary to begin the planned diversion of the Arroyo Bruno, a major tributary of the River Rancheria. We also know that two aspects of the company’s plans are strongly contested: one, the company’s environmental impact assessments which suggest that diversion of the Arroyo will have limited impacts on water availability and local ecology; and the other, that the company only need conduct prior consultation with one of the communities close to the Arroyo. There are in fact at least five indigenous Wayuu communities in the direct influence zone of the Arroyo, and Cerrejón must conduct Free Prior and Informed Consent negotiations with all of these communities. It is not only these communities that are dependent on the Arroyo for water, but also the nearby urban centres. It is clear to us that there are serious concerns about the hydrological and ecological impacts of the diversion and massive opposition from many sectors of the population in La Guajira. Some of the watercourses diverted in the past have dried out, and the fear is that the same fate awaits the Arroyo Bruno. The diversion must not be allowed to go ahead.
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