Support the ‘red mantas’ march to save La Guajira’s children
Guest blog by Emma Banks, Vanderbilt University, USA. Colombia Solidarity Campaign is planning a solidarity action in London on 9 August.
The children of La Guajira, Colombia are dying of malnutrition. On August 9, civil society groups will come together in the “Marcha de Mantas Rojas” – a follow-up to the Mantas Negras protest and the May 1 March to demand that the Cerrejón mining corporation and the Colombian government stop exploiting their territory and water.
Over the last 8 years in La Guajira, Colombia, almost 5000 children have died from malnutrition. According to Colombia’s National Statistics Administration, almost 28% of children under 4 suffer from chronic malnutrition in La Guajira. Media portrayals of La Guajira focus on the poverty and misery of Wayuu children, blaming state corruption and abandonment.
Yet La Guajira did not always have a chronic malnutrition problem. Until the arrival of mining in the 1970s, La Guajira produced more food than it consumed. Peasant, indigenous, and Afro-Descendant communities hunted, fished, planted crops, and participated in commercial agriculture. Since 1984, the Cerrejón open pit coalmine has deforested 12, 000 hectares of land, displaced thousands of Afro-Colombian and indigenous people from their territories, and taken over traditional hunting and gathering lands. Now the mine plans to divert the Arroyo Bruno, a tributary stream that provides life-sustaining water to thousands of people, animals, and small farms.
On August 9, unionists, indigenous peoples, Afro-Colombians, peasants, and civil society groups will come to together to deliver the message: “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.” They will march wearing red – the women in traditional “manta” dresses – to symbolize the connection between the death of Mother Earth and the death of Wayuu children from malnutrition. They will deliver a petition to the Colombian state and the Cerrejón mine demanding the end of childhood deaths caused by irresponsible use of their territory and water by mining. They are demanding an immediate halt to the Arroyo Bruno project, the creation of a development fund for La Guajira from mining profits, and a rural resettlement for displaced Afro-Colombian communities where they can become productive farmers once again.
Please consider donating to this important cause and sharing the information in your networks.
Public meeting with our invited guests.
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Wednesday 22 April: Coal, Miners and Communities in Colombia
6.30pm, Unite House, 128 Theobald's Road, Holborn, London, WC1X 8TN (near Holborn tube)
Speakers: Jairo Quiroz and Igor Diaz, president and education secretary of Sintracarbon, the mine workers' union at the Cerrejon coal mine, owned by Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Glencore
Organised by Colombia Solidarity Campaign
No a la Megaminería! Si a La Vida! SOLIDARITY PICKET COLOMBIAN EMBASSY
5 June, 4pm at 3 Hans Crescent London SW1X 0LN (back of Harrods - Knightsbridge tube)
On World Environment Day, for the last three years, tens of thousands of people, led by the youth, have held Carnivals for Life in Ibagué, which is the nearest city to the La Colosa mining project.
This year there will be similar carnivals and events in other regions, including Tasco (Boyacá), Cucutá (Norte de Santander), and Nariño, as part of the nationwide mobilisation to call for the protection of water and páramos.
Mining projects throughout Colombia pose a major threat to water sources, especially in the high mountain ecosystems known as páramos where plants convert water from clouds into stream sources. Gold processing on an industrial scale threatens water contamination on an industrial scale. Water is life. We say no to gold, yes to life!
A solidarity picket will also be held in Dublin, Ireland at Dáil in Kildare Street, on June 5th at 5pm.
Demo against Alvaro Uribe Velez's visit to London
ALVARO URIBE VELEZ
An assassin comes to speak about ‘Peace in Colombia ’?
5 PM Thursday 31 October
MacMillan Hall, Senate House, Malet Street , London WC1E 7HU
NO INTERNATIONAL IMPUNITY FOR THIS CRIMINAL!
Called by PLATAFORMA 12 DE OCTUBRE with the support of: Movimiento Micaela Bastidas-UK, Marcha Patriótica-Británica, Polo Democrático-UK, Colombia Solidarity Campaign, Mesa Permanente por la Paz - Londres, MERU Verdadero, London México Group, Tawantinsuyu Nation, Enlace Mapuche Internacional, Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB), Hands Off Venezuela, PARCOE, with internationalist friends and independent individuals.
BRING HALLOWEEN MASKS!
PETITION AGAINST URIBE
12 October: No to Free Trade Agreements!
Free Our America!
A day of protest, exchanges and celebration of Resistance.
12h00 – 14h00 Vigil in Trafalgar Square
15h00 – 18h00 Workshops SOAS*
19h00 – 23h00 Cultural Event SOAS
SOAS – Students Union, School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG