Help protect water starved Colombian coal communities
November 23, 2016

Let’s stop the diversion of the Arroyo Bruno in La Guajira Colombia. Please sign the petition from local people click here.

Hi, my name is Samuel Arregoces. I am a community leader in La Guajira. Today I am asking Colombians and people from all over the world to demand that the Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, stop the diversion of Arroyo (river) Bruno, given that in the last few months the Cerrejon coal mine (owned by the multinationals Anglo American, BHP Billiton and Glencore) has received all the necessary approvals from the government to divert the river, with the aim of extracting the 35 million tonnes of coal underneath it.  

For us, the Arroyo Bruno means life and the possibility of remaining in our territory, living with our families and animals, and surrounded by the fauna and flora of this area. Today we are facing the possibility of losing our river that provides water to the towns of Albania, Maicao and four Afro-descendant, indigenous and campesino communities. In addition, this is one of the main tributaries of the Rancheria River. The River Bruno is our main source of life.

During the last 30 years in La Guajira we have suffered the painful impacts produced by the Cerrejon Mine, the biggest opencast coal mine in the world. Our territory has been despoiled and our rivers one by one have been diverted, dried and polluted by mining.

President Santos has asked Colombians to save water, due to the drought caused by El Niño. I want everyone reading this petition to know that in La Guajira a person has to live with less than 1 litre of untreated water, while the mine uses more than 17 million litres daily, just to spray on the roads round the mine to control the dust when their trucks pass by.   

Today I am calling for help from the whole world so all of us demand that the President of Colombia stop the diversion of the Arroyo Bruno. 

This petition will be delivered to:

  • Presidente de Colombia
  • Corte Constitucional de Colombia
    Corte Constitucional de Colombia