Colombia – Free the Bruno stream: the Wayuu people can live without coal, but not without water!

May 5, 2021 | ActionsNews

Published here on 18th May 2021

(En Español debajo)

Take action: Call for the water of the Bruno Stream to be returned to its natural course!

The Cerrejon Coal mine is the biggest opencast coal mine in Latin America and is owned by three huge multinational mining companies trading on the London Stock Exchange: Anglo American, BHP and Glencore.

The decision of the Colombian Constitutional Court SU-698 of 2017, protects: ‘The right to health, water and food security of indigenous communities in the face of the threat of violation by the project to divert the channel of the Bruno Stream that the Cerrejon company is pursuing ‘, but this was ignored by Cerrejon and the State Institutions when they authorised the diversion and destruction of the natural course of the Bruno Stream with the objective of expanding and continuing coal extraction. 

According to technical experts in hydrology, the diversion of the Bruno Stream is causing perpetual and irreparable damage with the destruction of the aquifer and the loss of underground water storage capacity, generated by the siphoning effect on the groundwater generated by the large hole in the mine next to this channel. This is highly worrying in an area of water scarcity and highly vulnerable to climate change.

Communities in La Guajira are demanding that the Bruno Stream be returned to its natural course, as as they have a spiritual connection to this tributary of the Rancheria River, the main river in this semi-desert area, home to dry tropical forest, an ecosystem in critical danger of extinction. In addition, in the climate emergency we are going through, coal extraction is unjustified and places at risk the life of the planet. The only possible action is a transition towards a just closure of the mine. 

Please support the Wayuu people by calling on Colombian institutions and the Chief Executives of the mining companies to respect Wayuu people’s rights and return the water of the Bruno Stream to its natural cause following the Constitutional Court Decision SU-698 of 2017. 


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