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164 organizations from 28 countries call for an end to extractivist activities

Actualizado: 18 may 2022

Call for an end to the proliferation of extractivist for an end to the proliferation of extractivist activities and systematic human rights violations against indigenous and Afro-descendant communities in Colombian territory - we call on member states and the UN to support and act immediately

Mr. Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General

Ms. Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

Mr. Ian Fry, UN Special Rapporteur on the Protection of Human Rights in the Context of

Climate Change

Mrs. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Mr. Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany

Mr. Iván Duque Márquez, President of the Republic of Colombia

Berlin, 4th. May 2022

As civil society networks, collectives, and non-governmental organizations committed to the defence of human rights and the environment, we strongly reject the threat to the fulfilment of the right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment of the Wayuu indigenous territory in La Guajira, Colombia, as well as condemn coal mining as a latent threat to limit global warming below 1.5°C.

On April 6, 2022, it was agreed to increase imports of Colombian coal to Germany in response to the sanctions imposed on Russia in the current context of the war in Ukraine. This allows Germany to partially replace its demand for Russian coal by increasing exploration and exploitation in the Wayuu indigenous territory. The growing demand for Colombian coal gives a new boost to El Cerrejón, Latin America's largest coal mine, which announced last year its closure due to low demand for the material. However, it now plans to increase its production to meet, among other things, German demand for the material. On the same day of the agreement between the two heads of state, El Cerrejón received permission from the Colombian government to divert the Bruno stream and mine the ore lying in its riverbed.

Historically, the Bruno stream has not only been a source of water and cultural and spiritual well-being for the indigenous and Afrodescendant communities living in the area but is also considered a biological corridor between Perijá and the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. These communities have already experienced permanent and irreversible loss and damages to their livelihoods, homes and territory, as well as loss of culture, identity and biodiversity, which cannot be quantified in monetary terms. The expansion of the mining frontier will lead the La Guajira-Cesar mining corridor to an environmental and public health crisis, as the emission of particulate matter into the air will increase above the levels permitted by national legislation and international standards.

The most recent reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have been clear in corroborating that current development challenges that cause high vulnerability are influenced by historical and persistent patterns of inequity, especially for many indigenous peoples, Afrodescendants and local communities. These latest reports recognize the value of diverse forms of knowledge, such as scientific knowledge, as well as indigenous knowledge and local knowledge in understanding and assessing climate adaptation processes and actions to reduce the risks of human-induced climate change.

We stand in solidarity with the leaders and their families, victims of violence and human rights violations, and demand that the necessary and urgent measures be adopted for the protection of their lives and physical integrity. Solidarity with Colombia's indigenous and Afrodescendant communities requires international attention and pressure so that their concerns, essential to ensure the desired peace and sustainability, are heard and thus, an agreement is reached to end the current social and environmental conflict.

Therefore, several organizations are calling on the German and Colombian governments and the international community to:

Rapid and fair phase-out of fossil fuels to limit global warming to below 1.5°

The IPCC's central message is very clear: human influence on climate is unequivocal, unprecedented and irreversible. It states that we have 30 months to make the required changes in production and consumption patterns before we enter into major chaos. Continuing with the indiscriminate exploitation of indigenous and Afrodescendant territories to promote a fossil fuel-based economy is not the path that preserves the possibility of limiting warming to 1.5°C. If we want to avoid catastrophic damage to the climate system, nature, and society, we need to immediately stop the exploration, investment and extraction of fossil fuels and replace these sources with distributed and sustainably generated renewable energies. It is imperative that the German government meets its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets not only domestically but also in the international context.

Take on historical polluting responsibilities compounded by decades of deliberate tactics by the fossil fuel industry.

This is a call to the German government to face up to the historical and current responsibilities to the indigenous and Afrodescendant communities in Colombian territory who have experienced the consequences of coal extraction in their homeland to power the unsustainable energy system in Germany. The resulting climate, social and economic crisis is affecting first and hardest those people who have not contributed to the deterioration of the ecosystems they inhabit. Civil society calls for adequate reparation of the social and ecological damage caused, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities under the framework of climate justice.

Guaranteeing the right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment

The decisions taken on the proliferation of extractive activities in La Guajira and the deviation of the Bruno stream were not taken in common agreement with the Wayuu indigenous and Afrodescendant communities of the territory. This, coupled with the increasing patterns of threats, harassment, persecution, and discrediting campaigns against community leaders, puts the integrity of the people and ecosystems in the area at high risk. A just transition must begin with the protection of social and environmental defenders and activists.

Solidarity with the people in Ukraine should not come at the expense of the Wayuu indigenous Peoples and Afrodescendant communities in Colombia. It is time for countries to show leadership with concrete actions for peace and a sustainable future for all people - within the European Union, in Colombia, in all regions.

It is now or never!

The following organizations endorse:


1. Women Engage for a Common Future

2. Unidas por la Paz Alemania

3. Ökumenisches Büro für Frieden und Gerechtigkeit e.V.

4. Aluna Minga e.V

5. Fridays For Future

6. Kolumbienkampagne Berlin

7. COLPAZ Bonn

8. kolko - Menschenrechte für Kolumbien e. V.

9. Oigo Paz e.V., Alemania


11. Caleidoscopio Latino Cultural, Potsdam

12. Bloque Lationoamericano Berlín

13. Förderverein Lernen Wissen Leben - soziale Vernetzung Deutschland Kolumbien

e. V.

14. Galería Wildpalms

15. Was ist los Kolumbien

16. Miranda, iniciativa estudiantil de Frankfurt am Main

17. CAL - Colectivo Anticolonial Latinoamericano, Frankfurt am Main

18. Bloque Latoniamericano Berlín

19. Colombianxs En Freiburg - Colectivo la Olla

20. FAU Erlangen

21. Hfm Nürnberg

22. Foro America Latina de Berlin

23. FIAN Alemania

24. Patria Boba Münster

25. Red Colombia Rhein-Main

26. Sol Fraktal

27. Deutsch-palästinensische Gesellschaft

28. Wissenskulturen e.V.

29. Agenda Consult GmbH

30. Black Earth Kollektiv Berlin

31. Conuco

32. Decolonial Philosophy

33. FIAN International

34. Groots Consulting

35. Front of Anti Colonial/Capitalist/Cistem Queers

36. Klimabündnis Niederrhein


37. Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo - CAJAR

38. Pensamiento y Acción Social (PAS)

39. Tierra Poderosa, Bogotá

40. Juntanza de Mujeres de Cali


42. Sin Olvido

43. Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz

44. Somos Génesis Red

45. Asociación Genaro Sanchez, Pueblo Kokonuko - CRIC

46. Fundación Chasquis

47. Colectivo Sur Cacarica


49. Asociación Cusiana Ecosolidaria

50. Corporación ECATE

51. Corporación trabajadores por la tierra

52. Corporación Colectivos de Abogados Suyana Cali y Buga

53. Movimiento nacional de víctimas de corporaciones multinacionales

54. Asociación UPPAA - Unión para la protección animal y ambiental, Pereira

55. Nube de ideas investigación educativa

56. Movimiento Somos Más

57. JAC barrio Santiago

58. MOVICE Meta

59. Eficiencia energética

60. Semillero de Investigación en Transición Energética de la Universidad del Magdalena

61. Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudof Steiner

62. Fundacion Barranquilla+20

63. ISS

64. Asosciacion de Sindicalistas de Emcali ASOSIEMCALI


66. Aspu

67. Censat Agua Viva - Amigos de la Tierra Colombia

68. Fundacion Drecca


69. Defendamos la Paz Argentina

70. Fundacion Plurales


71. Bangladesh Indigenous Women's Network


72. Nexus Human Rights - BRUXELLES


73. SFBSP-Burundi


74. Agenda Colombia

75. Núcleo de Pesquisa em Gênero e Economia NPGE


76. FIV Canadá


77. Raíces de Resistencia

78. Defendamos La Paz

79. Invisibles Por La Paz

Czech Republic

80. Limity jsme my, z.s.


81. Colombia Solidarity Denmark

82. International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)


83. Abibinsroma Foundation


84. Instituto para el Futuro Común Amerindio IFCA Kenya

85. Hope for Kenya Slum Adolescents Initiative

86. Tarumbeta Radio

87. Upeo community justice center

88. Oxfam Kenya



90. Asociación Cultural, Social y Empresarial de Hispanoamericanos en Jávea y Valencia

91. Comité de Solidaridad con América Latina (COSAL) Xixon

92. Asociación Astur Cubana Bartolomé de las Casas Gijón

93. Asociación Pueblo y Dignidad Asturias

94. Corriente Sindical de Izquierda de Asturias

95. CEDSALA (Centro de Documentación y Solidaridad con América Latina y África), València

96. COSAL (Comité de solidaridad con América Latina) Asturias

97. Perifèries-País Valencià

98. Reds (Red de solidaridad para la transformación social) Barcelona

99. SOLdePAZ-Pachakuti Asturias

100. Colectivo de Colombianos/as Refugiados/as en Asturias

101. Programa Asturiano de atención a víctimas de la Violencia en Colombia

102. Comisión Ética Internacional por la Verdad - CEIV-Madrid

103. Colectivo Vida Paz y Justicia

104. Asociación de Solidaridad con Colombia KATIO

105. Comité de Solidaridad Internacionalista de Zaragoza

106. Colectiva de Mujeres Refugiadas, Exiliadas y Migradas

107. Asociación Freytter Romero Bilbao

108. Oxfam España

109. Jovenes Feministas Cardedeu

110. Centro para el Derecho Ambiental Internacional

111. Indigenous Environmental Network

112. Center for International Environmental Law

113. Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)

114. GAWI

115. Gender Action

116. San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility

117. Stony Brook University

118. Global African Workers Institute

119. International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE)

120. School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University

121. Washington Office on Latin America


122. Reacción Revista Digital París

123. La DCCAT - La Diaspora Culturelle Colombienne à Tours


124. Team Swachh Kalyani Nagar, Pune


125. Oxfam

126. Vamos por los Derechos Internacional

127. Campaña Let’s Defend Colombia

128. Equipo Claretiano ante la ONU

129. Defendamos la Paz Internacional

130. Congreso de los Pueblos - Europa

131. PDAI

132. Fossil Fuel Treaty Campaign

133. Alianza Global ConVida20

134. Servicio Internacional Cristiano de Solidaridad con los Pueblos de América Latina - Sicsal - Oscar Arnulfo Romero Internacional

135. Comisión de Crisis Climática de Convida20 - Internacional

136. EsDePolitologos

137. Environmental Justice Foundation

138. Red Antimilitarista de América Latina y el Caribe


139. Associazione Jambo- Fidenza

140. Rete Italiana Colombia Vive


141. Servicios para una Educación Alternativa EDUCA A.C. Oaxaca

142. Colectivo por La Paz en Colombia desde México COLPAZ

143. Campaign of Campaigns


144. Young Professionals in Policy & Development (YouPaD)

145. The Netherlands

146. Citizen Diplomacy, Países Bajos

147. Cinema Colombiano

148. INLW and NGO


149. Water Justice and Gender

United Kingdom

150. Stamp Out Poverty

151. WILPF


152. RECODEFSenegal


153. Colombia Humana Suiza

154. Acciones Internacionales

155. ask! - Arbeitsgruppe Schweiz-Kolumbien

156. FIST Mujeres Migrantes internacionalistas solidarias en Zurich Suiza

157. Radio Lora

158. Assoc. int pour la paix de Colombie et le monde AIPAZCOMUN


159. Organización Aluna

160. Socialdemocrata


161. ITUC-Africa


162. Community Transformation Foundation Network (COTFONE)

163. Global Learning for Sustainability


164. South Feminist Futures

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