11 Jan 2011

Eye witness report from killer gold mine in Colombia

Colombia Solidarity Campaign London Branch meeting

Report back from Cajamarca – the fight to stop AngloGold Ashanti
Eyewitness account from two Campaign members just back from the region

7pm Tuesday 18 January at The Apple Tree pub, 45 Mount Pleasant, WC1

(Russell Square, Farringdon, Kings X or Angel tube)

AngloGold Ashanti is ploughing ahead with the exploration phase of La Colosa in Cajamarca, despite widespread opposition from the local community. The projected site of the Cajamarca gold mine, in the central Colombian mountains, includes an area of forest reserve and 161 water sources. It is an important agricultural hub for the whole country.

The results of the exploration so far indicate that the gold mine would be the largest in South America. Opencast mining exploitation, planned to start in three years’ time, would result in complete destruction of the ecosystem. The use of cyanide to treat the gold ore would inevitably contaminate water sources for a large area of the Tolima department. The Machín Volcano a few kilometres from Cajamarca presents a potential unimaginable ecological disaster for the region. The company also has a deplorable human rights record from its activities in other countries (e.g., Ghana).

We will describe the current situation in Tolima, how the company is seeking to win people over, how the community is fighting against this project, and what we can do to help.

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