Yasmin Romero Epiayu spoke movingly in Nottingham on 21st October about the impact of open cast coal mining on her community. Yasmin lives in the La Guajira region of northern Colombia, where the giant Cerrejón coal mine has swallowed up whole villages and forced people out of their homes.
The health of people living near the mine has deteriorated significantly and there are an increasing number of birth abnormalities. There are plans to increase the size of the mine … and divert a local river. This is being actively challenged by the local community. An article from the Guardian newspaper gives some background to the debate about mining in La Guajira.
This speaker meeting aimed to highlight the role that the UK Financial Sector plays in bankrolling this kind of initiative. Coal is a dirty energy, there is serious environmental degradation … and this area is the second poorest in the country. The mine is not benefiting the lives of the local people.