Blog Entry

Declaration on the Investment of Multinational Corporations in Colombia and Against the Elimination of MINERCOL, the State Mining Company of Colombia

Jamie Kneen

National Program Co-Lead

We, the citizens of the world, have been informed by the workers affiliated to SINTRAMINERCOL-FUNTRAENERGETICA-CUT of the results of their study, titled Large-Scale Mining in Colombia: The Profits of Extermination, and of the decision of President Alvaro Uribe Vélez to liquidate the State Mining Company of Colombia, Minercol Ltda., through Decree 254 of January 28, 2004.

The Colombian government has expressed that Minercol "is a commercial and industrial state company that is unviable, inefficient, and ever more dependent on the national budget," in contradiction to the affirmation that the Minister of Mines and Energy made just three months ago to the unions, recognizing the economic recovery of the company and stating that the liquidation was a political decision of the Colombian State.

The signatories below have reiterated our concern in numerous occasions about the mandates contained in the Colombian National Development Plan, and particularly about those that violate national sovereignty and attempt, through the politics of paralysis, to give away the exploration, exploitation and administration of mineral, energy, and public resources to the multinational corporations.

The Communitarian State of President Alvaro Uribe Vélez, and its components, which include the policies of Democratic Security, the judicial system reform, the Anti-terrorism Law, the Law of Alternative Punishment, the fiscal reform, the labor reform, and the so-called renovation of public administration, are reproachable legal actions that express the interests of the international financial institutions, negate the social rule of law, and generate more misery and destruction in a country that is demanding a humanitarian settlement to the social and armed conflict and concrete proposals of social investment and wellbeing that would benefit all Colombians.

The proceedings in which the government liquidated the State Mining Company Minercol contain the same kinds of political foundations and legal tricks that were utilized in the liquidation of Telecom; also the same that are being utilized today in the indirect liquidation and privatization of the Municipal Corporation of Cali EMCALI EICE ESP; as well as in the privatization of the Colombian Petroleum Company ECOPETROL, the Social Security Institute ISS, the National Training Service SENA, and the public universities. This is just to name some of the labor conflicts which share common traits: the violation of rights of expression, of collective bargaining, and of unionization; military and paramilitary threats; summary executions; arbitrary detentions; threats; assassination attempts; and even the delivery of the national patrimony to the multinational corporations.

It is clear, that in addition to facilitating the delivery of these resources to big multinational capital, the liquidation of Minercol is a retaliation against SINTRAMINERCOL for having used their right of political opposition and their right to dissent from the politics of the government, for thinking differently and for unmasking the serious crimes that have been hidden below this delivery of mineral resources (including gold, silver, platinum, nickel, emeralds, and coal). More than anything else, this is a reprisal against the union for formulating proposals on mining sector development and on the environment that are contrary to the abandonment of national sovereignty.

In the view of the signatories below, the investigation "Large-Scale Mining in Colombia: The Profits of Extermination" is a rigorous study, based on the common reality that the mining communities confront, and proven with official documents that confirm the responsibility that the Colombian government and multinational mining companies both share in the deterioration in living conditions and in the negation of the fundamental rights of workers in the mining sector and of the people that are located in zones of great natural richness.

As a result, we request that:

    * The liquidation of Minercol Ltda be immediately revoked.
    * The Colombian Congress not approve the Law of Alternative Punishment.
    * The Antiterrorist Law be revoked, being the foundation of the criminalization and penalization of social protest and from which have been constructed inquisitory norms against organized social sectors such as the workers, peasants, indigenous people, Afro-Colombian communities, students, union leaders, and human rights defenders.

We exhort the governments of Canada, Great Britain, Switzerland, and the US to place holds on the bank accounts of the Colombian high public functionaries that have signed mining and oil contracts with multinational corporations.

We demand that the cases of human rights violations and crimes against humanity of workers in the small and medium sized mining sectors that are now languishing in impunity are reopened, are judged, and that the material and intellectual authors are appropriately sanctioned.

We demand that the repression against the communities located in zones of mineral and energy abundance cease and that the attempts to privatize health care, education, and public services also cease.

We demand respect for the rights of free association, union liberty, and collective bargaining, in agreement with pacts and international conventions such as the International Labor Organization Conventions that have been signed and ratified by the Colombian State.

We call on the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights of the United Nations in Colombia and the Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan to form a commission of international delegates, NGOs, and Colombian trade unions, to exhaustively investigate the crimes against humanity and war crimes that are being committed in the mining and oil regions, whose findings would become public and provide the basis for juridical actions that will bring reparations to the victims and to society.

We call on the Member States of the European Parliament to form commissions to visit the regions of Colombia rich in minerals and oil, where the peasant, Afro-Colombian, and indigenous communities are being denied their civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights in order to ensure investment by multinational corporations.

We call on the European Parliament to form a commission that investigates the use and destination of the military aid to Colombia given by Great Britain and Spain. In the studies that have been already developed, there are serious indications that this aid has been directed to areas where companies from these countries develop or will develop mining and energy projects, producing grave violations of human rights.

We call on the socially responsible investment funds to condition their investments in companies with mining and oil projects in Colombia on the strict respect of human, economic, and social rights of the local populations, and to divest their funds from these companies if they are shown to be responsible for these violations.

Finally, as a contribution to the creation of conditions that diminish the tension and polarization that has produced the civil war and social crisis in Colombia, we call upon the Colombian government to design and execute a policy of recuperation of the state industries as an element of the economic development of the country and as a show of good faith before the demands of the national and international community for the imperative necessity of greater respect for the human rights of the Colombian people; and as a consequence of this to revoke Decree 254 of January 28, 2004 and of Resolution 180073 expedited on January 27, 2004, that order the liquidation of Minercol.

Bogotá, February 24, 2004


Noam Chomsky - Escritor, Profesor de lingüística, MIT
Aviva Chomsky - Profesora de Historia, Salem State College
Comité por Justicia Social en Colombia, Nueva York, EE. UU
Carol Chomsky - Pensionada
Líndale Knight - Unitarian - Universalist Church of Greater Lynn
Donna Neff - Witness for Pace
Lynn Nadeau - Healthlink
Matt Buchanan - Profesor Salem High School
Heather Cahill - Estudiante Salem State
Susan Connell - Mettauer , Estudiante Salem State
Shaun Hayes - Veterans for Peace
Michael J. Collins - estudiante del Salem State
Alejandra Baralt - maestra, Salem
Tanalis Padilla (profesora, Dartmouth College)
Mary Rossborough (jubilada)
Hope Benne (profesora, Salem State)
Tammy Freitas da Rocha
Tristan Fleming (estudiante, Salem State)
Julia Quigley Long
Ramon Domingo
Cecilia Zarate- Laun, Colombia Support Network Estados Unidos
Daniel Kovalik Assistant General Counsel, United Steelworkers of America
Shirley Novak, MA Syracuse, NY USA
William M. Sweet 31 Dunbar Street Worcester, MA 01603-1337 USA
Terry Collingsworth--International Labor Rights Fund
Erik Schnabel USA
Rachel S Kennedy 34 Norham St Glasgow G41 3XQ
Jennifer Cochran-Mosquera
Gretchen Begley, Isla Vista, CA, USA
Frances Hoffman, O.P, 6136 Portage Rd. DeForest, WI 53532-2939 U.S.A.
Maria Teresa de Bourbon, USA - Colombia Support Network New York City
Patricia Dahl - Colombia Support Network New York City
Roberth Gold - Colombia Support Network New York City
Ras Moshe - Colombia Support Network New York City
Ralph Di Gia - Colombia Support Network New York City
Sam Oast - Colombia Support Network New York City
Melissa Jameson - Colombia Support Network New York City
Sophie Finger Carmen Burbano - Colombia Support Network New York City
Dan Berrigan - Colombia Support Network New York City
Francs Hoffman, O.P. U.S.A.
David T. Ramsey
David Ward
Alan Hanscom
Sally Clapp
Hope Benne (profesora, Salem State)
Linda Weltner
Elizabeth Behashti (Salem)
Nancuy Hanlin
Eleni Kokoromiti

MiningWatch Canada, Ottawa
Svend J Robinson, MP, Burnaby-Douglas

COECOCEIBA-Amigos de la Tierra

Miguel Angel González Alonso - Sindicato de Administración Pública de Madrid-Castilla, La Mancha. Secretario Acción social. STAP .
CGT-Madrid- Castilla Mancha.

Comité Mexicano de la Campaña Continental Contra el ALCA
Red Mexicana de Acción Frente al Libre Comercio
Mauricio Macossay Vallado, a nombre del Colectivo El Rebelde, Mérida, Yucatán
Javier Orellana Cota - sociólogo de Monterrey, N.L.
Rosa María Avilés Nájera, diputada Federal
Ideia Zabaldu, Jefa de redacción de RED@ctuar.
Sebastián López, Coordinador general de RED@ctuar y colaborador de Rebelió y de La Jornada Morelos.

Tony Benn President, Stop the War Coalition
Jeremy Corbyn MP
George Galloway MP
Explo Nani-Kofi Africa Liberation Support Committee
Judith Amanthis Africa Liberation Support Committee
Candy Udwin Socialist Workers Party
Kate Hudson Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Nick Wright Communist Party
B.W. Watson National Union Of Journalists
David Landau Jewish Socialist Group
Sheila Malone Islington Stop the War Coalition
Shirley Franklin Islington Respect
Lindsey German Stop the War Coalition
Andrew Murray Stop the War Coalition
E Rodgers Stop the War Coalition
Chris Nineham Globalise Resistance
Mik Phipps Labour Party
Guy Taylor Globalise Resistance
Ed Cope Globalise Resistance
M. Kandemir Day-Mer (Turkish Community Association)
Tony Staunton UNISON Public Service Union (Plymouth Branch)
Angie Cocking UNISON Public Service Union
Sophie King, RCN, NUS, Stop the War
John Smith National Communication Workers Union
Andrew Warren Colombia Solidarity Campaign
Lindiwe Tskeke Hackney Black People’s Association
Rachel Bird The Refugee Project
Bob Archer President, Redbridge Branch national Union of Teachers (personal capacity)
Bougami Mkhungo Workers International

John Appotis Anti-Privatisation Forum (South Africa)

Giovanna Micarelli - Instructor University of Ilinois at Urbana-Champaign
Franco Di Giangirolamo - Presidente Nexus CGIL Emilia Romagna
(Organismo no lucrativo del sindicato CGIL de la Region Emilia Romagna)
Milena Valli Sondrio

AFFAL - Comité Colombia, Lyón

Se anexan 4 folios con 74 firmas

Alirio Uribe Muñoz - Colectivo de Abogados “José Alvear Restrepo”
Agustín Jiménez - Comité de Solidaridad con los Presos Políticos
Yesid Plaza Escobar - Sindicato de Trabajadores de las Entidades Territoriales de los Departamentos, Distritos, Municipios y Corregimientos de Colombia SINTRAENTEDDIMCCOL - Comité Seccional Bugalagrande
Berenice Celeyta Alayón - Asociación para la Investigación y Acción Social NOMADESC
Ludivia Giraldo Díaz - Asociación para el Desarrollo Social Integral “ECATE”
Martha Lucía Renteria - Asociación para el Desarrollo Social Integral “ECATE”
Fernando Ramírez González - Federación nacional de sindicatos de trabajadores públicos “ Fenasintrap”
Yesenia Echavarria Zuleta - Sindicato de Trabajadores de la minería “Sintramin”
Héctor Castro Portillo - Corporación Jurídica Alternativa Ciudadana -
Ángela Ascencio - Corporación Trabajadores por la Tierra
Heberth Ruiz Ríos - Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria Metalúrgica “Sintrametal” Yumbo
Lilia Vargas - Corporación Social para la Asesoría y Capacitación Comunitaria COS-PAC
Domingo Tovar Arrieta -Director Oficina de Derechos Humanos de la Central Unitaria de Trabajadores CUT
Alexander López Maya - Representante a la Cámara y miembro de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Congreso
Marcela Pachón - Secretaria de Asoingeominas
Francisco Velandia - Presidente de Asoingeominas
Henry Villegas - Vicepresidente de Asoingeominas
Carlos González - Sindicato de Trabajadores de Universidades de Colombia “Sintraunicol” Valle del Cauca y miembro de la Junta Nacional de la CUT
José Múnera - Sintraunicol Nacional
Carlos Mauricio Mora - Asonal Judicial
Diego Escobar - Asonal Judicial Valle del Cauca
Mauricio Rubiano - Asociación Iniciativa Juvenil
Iván Cepeda Castro - Fundación “Manuel Cepeda Vargas”
Claudia Girón Ortiz - Fundación “Manuel Cepeda Vargas”
Apecides Alvis - Presidente Confederación de Trabajadores de Colombia CTC
Miguel Morantes - Secretario General Confederación de Trabajadores de Colombia “CTC”
Jair Hernández - Casa de la Juventud Comuna 16 de Cali, Valle del Cauca
Fernando Murillo - Asociación Grupos Juveniles Libertad “Asolibertad”
Abelino Arrieta - Asociación Social Comunidad y Vida
Martha Guzmán - Comunidades Eclesiales de Base “Cebs”
Luis Evelis Andrade Casama - Presidente de la Organización Nacional Indígena de Colombia “Onic”
Gloría Mancilla de Díaz - “ANDAS” Nacional
Luis Javier Correa Suárez - Presidente Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la industria de alimentos “Sinaltrainal”
Gonzalo Quijano - Junta Nacional del Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la industria de alimentos Sinaltrainal
Gabriel Alvis - Presidente de la Unión Sindical Obrera “USO”
Luis Eduardo Guevara - Junta Nacional del Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria de la caña de azúcar en Colombia “Sintraicañazucol”
Carlos Alberto Cabal Medina - Presidente Sindicato de Trabajadores de la industria de la caña de azúcar en Colombia “Sintraicañazucol” Subdirectiva Riofrío
José Ariel Díaz - Secretario de derechos humanos de la Central Unitaria de Trabajadores “CUT” Subdirectiva Valle del Cauca
Luis Hernández - Presidente del Sindicato de Trabajadores de las Empresas Municipales de Cali “Sintraemcali”
Martha Ascuntar - Fundación Comité de Solidaridad con los presos políticos Seccional Valle del Cauca
Germán Bedoya - Coordinador Nacional Agrario “CNA”
Jhon Jairo Enríquez - Corporación Sembrar
Juan Martínez - “Agunal”
Tatiana Roa - Censat Agua Viva
Hildebrando Vélez - Censat Agua Viva
ManueL Romero B. - Vicepresidente de la Asociacion de Ingenieros de
Minas la UPTC. Catedrático de la Escuela de Minas y Geología de la Seccional Sogamoso UPTC.
Venus Albeiro Silva - Miembro de la Comisión de Derechos Humanos del Congreso, Partido Comunitario Opción 7, PCOS
Luis Alfonso Ruiz Alegría - Humanidad Vigente Corporación Jurídica
Luis Alberto Gómez - Comunicador Social
José Angel Peña - Sindiobras
Gilma Barahona - Sintraofipúblicos
Urias Antonio Rodríguez - Sinutseres
Nelson Berrio - Asamblea Permanente de la Sociedad Civil por la Paz
Norma Enríquez - Asamblea Permanente de la Sociedad Civil por la Paz
Rocio Bautista - Asfaddes Nacional
Luis Erasmo Rojas Castellanos - Sindicato de trabajadores y Empleados de Servicios Públicos, Corporaciones Autónomas, Institutos Descentralizados y Territoriales de Colombia “Sintraemsdes” Subdirectiva Bogotá.
Matilde Quintero - Fundación para la Educación y el Desarrollo
Gloria Cuartas - Frente Social y Político
Daniel Libreros - Presentes por el Socialismo
José Santos - Proceso de Comunidades Negras
Víctor Bacca P. - Presidente del Sindicato de Trabajadores de las Entidades Territoriales de los Departamentos, Distritos, Municipios y Corregimientos de Colombia SINTRAENTEDDIMCCOL, Soledad (Atlántico) y miembro de la Junta Nacional de Fenasintrap.
Mario Angarita - Fundación Mencoldes
Jaime Caicedo - Secretario General del Partido Comunista Colombiano
Yolanda Becerra - Organización Femenina Popular
Wilson Donato - Presidente de la Asociación Nacional de Empleados del Banco de la República “Anebre”
Camilo Castellanos - Instituto Latinoamericano de Servicios Legales Alternativos “ILSA”
Luz Marina Palacios - Asociación Campesina del Centro del Valle “Acaceva”
Orlando Buriticá - Asociación Campesina del Centro del Valle “Acaceva”
José Julio Pérez - Junta Pro-reubicación de Tabaco (Hatonuevo, Guajira)
Yanneth Meneses - Fundación Cléber
Ariel Forero - Fundación Cléber
Daira Elsa Quiñónez - Fundartecp
Daira Quiñónez - Consejo Comunitario La Nupa, Río Caunapí, Afluente Mira y Carretera Tumaco Nariño
Aleyda Murillo - Presidenta Sindesena Junta Nacional
Diego Pérez Guzmán - Investigador sobre temas de Conflictos, Derechos Humanos y Paz
Ramón Jaramillo Correa - Unión Nacional de Empleados Bancarios “Uneb” Junta Directiva Nacional
Jhon Jaime Posada - Miembro Junta Nacional y Secretario de Asuntos Internacionales de la Unión Nacional de Empleados Bancarios “Uneb”
Gilberto Martínez - Segundo Vicepresidente del Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de Hospitales y Clínicas “Anthoc” Nacional
Yamid Arias Cortés - Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores del Incora “Sintradin”
Enrique Urrea Rivera - Asociación Colombiana de Trabajadores de la Televisión “Acotv”
Jaime Maya - Presidente Sinaltrainal Seccional Bugalagrande
Heberth Maradiago - Presidente Sinaltrabavaria Junta Nacional
Francisco Castillo - Director Corporación para la educación, el Desarrollo y la Investigación Popular, Instituto Nacional Sindical CEDINS
Sandra Cristina Moreno Sánchez - Instituto Nacional Sindical CEDINS
Harvey Suárez - Director Codees
Luis Elmer Arenas Parra - Senador
Ricardo Zamudio - Corporación Cactus
Vladimir Ilich Acosta - Despedir no es Mejorar
Joaquín Romero - Funtra-Energética
Geovanny Arias - Fundación Dos Mundos
Mauricio Escobar - Asonal Judicial Valle del Cauca
Esperanza Delgado - Asonal Judicial Valle del Cauca
Martha C. Sánchez G.- Asonal Judicial Valle del Cauca
José Freddy Restrepo G. - Asonal Judicial Valle del Cauca
Julio C. López - Sinaltrainal Bugalagrande
Fernando Sánchez - Fundación Comité de Solidaridad con los presos políticos, Seccional Valle del Cauca
Héctor E. Castro - Sintraservimos
William A. Escobar - CUT Valle del Cauca
Wilson Sáenz - Sintraunicol Cali
Otoniel Ramírez - Presidente CUT Valle del Cauca
Carlos A. Escobar - Sintraunicol Cali
Esperanza Ordóñez - Sintraunicol Cali
Antonio Jesús Gutiérrez V.- Sintraunicol Cali
Nelson R. Guerrero - Sintraquim Cali
Carlos Moreira - Sintraunicol Cali
Bartolo Mina - Sutev Buenaventura
Carlos J. Jaimes - Sintrametal Yumbo
Humberto Velandia - Sinaltraquintex
Hilian Ma. Mous López - Sintramienergética
Luis Carlos Rodríguez - Sintraquim Yumbo
Omar Álvarez - Sintradit
Gerardo Muñoz - Sintradit
Carlos Murcia - Sintraelecol Dagua
Carlos A. Quintero - Sintraelecol
O. Cam T H - Sintracolpa
Alexander Sarria - Sintracarcol
Diego González - Asdecol
Jairo Polanco -. Apronal
Amir R. Carvajal - Sintrametal
José Delmar Giraldo Vives - Sintramunicipio de Jamundí
Yomaira Albornoz M. - Sindicato de pequeños Comerciantes
Delmey López - Sindicato de pequeños Comerciantes
Mercedes Suárez - Sindicato de pequeños Comerciantes
Luz Mary Granada - Sindicato de pequeños Comerciantes
Luz Helena Bernal - Sutev
José Fraybel Melo - Sinaltrainal
Omar Zúñiga - Sintramunicipio de Jamundí
Maria Consuelo Castro Bustamante - Sintraunicol Cali
Juan Carlos Velasco Achuy - UNEB
José Omar Blandón L. - Sintramunicipio de Cartago
Luis Asdrúbal Hernández O. - Subdirectiva Sintraemsdes Cartago
Fabio Román A. - Subdirectiva Sintraemsdes Cartago
Alberto Cartago - Sintraimagra
Argemiro Garcés M. - Cut Valle
Hernando Montoya - Sintracartago
Miguel A. Hoyos B. - Sindesena Valle
Alberto Navia L. - Sintrametal Yumbo
José Alfredo Rodríguez - Sintraquim
Jenny Patricia Angel C. - Sintraunicol
Alberto España - Sintraimagra
Luis Carlos Mera M. - Anebre
Alberto Hernández E. - Sintramunicipio de Yumbo
Ciro Manyoma P. - Sintraemsirva
José María Campo M. - Cut Valle
Alvaro Arroyo C. - Uneb
Omar Vidal - Sutev
Luz Stella Rivas - Sutev
Omar Romero Díaz - Sutimac
Casimiro Montaño - Sintraicañazucol
Gustavo Hernán Mendoza - Sintraicañazucol
Jairo Bermúdez - Sintraincapla
Julio César Perea Peña - Sintraincapla
María del Rosario Franco Ortiz - Sutev
Carlos Obando - Sutimac Yumbo
Alexander Franco - Ascontrol
Olmes Garzón O. - Sutimac Cali
Ricardo Gómez M. - Sutimac Yumbo
Phanor A. Gómez - Uneb Cali
Rodolfo Nieto G. - Uneb Cali
Manuel López - Sintraime Yumbo
Pedro Pablo Zuleta V. - Sintrapublic-HUV
Nelson Amaya Villegas - Cut Valle
Piedad Córdoba - Senadora
Francisco Lafont.- Presidente ASPROUL
Comisión de Asuntos Sociales - Polo Democrático Independiente PDI
Melba Rincón - Presidenta Asociación Distrital de Educadores ADE
Carlos Ramírez - Secretario Asociación Distrital de Educadores ADE
Jorge Eliécer Guevara - Presidente Federación colombiana de educadores FECODE
Mildrey Corrales - ATI
Carlos Salgado - Proyecto Planeta Paz
Gustavo Petro - Representante a la Cámara