Colombia: Environmental defenders allege receiving death threats by right-wing paramilitaries over their opposition to AngloGold Ashanti

Environmentalists received death threats by paramilitary groups in a letter, accusing them of opposing AngloGold Ashanti mining in the Tolima region. Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited AngloGold Ashanti to respond to these allegations; the response is provided.

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Company response
19 October 2015

Response by AngloGold Ashanti

Author: AngloGold Ashanti

…By way of a brief summary, AngloGold Ashanti has been in Colombia for more than a decade and the company has three major projects – Gramalote, Quebradona and La Colosa. As a company operating in several countries across the world, we welcome engagement with social and environmental activists, not only as vital stakeholders in our industry, but also as key participants in efforts aimed at ensuring modern, responsible mining from social, environmental, and technical standpoints. For example, AngloGold Ashanti Colombia has consulted with Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the Colombian Government on the implementation of Due Diligence System on Human Rights in Colombia....

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19 October 2015

“Announcement to the national and international public opinion of the network of environmenal committees of Tolima”

Author: Red de Justicia Ambiental del Tolima

…[The] environmental movement of…Tolima has been implementing a process of territorial defense of a peaceful, nonviolent, artistic, playful, creative and participatory character that reflects and expresses the rejection of polluting mining projects such as La Colosa in Cajamarca-Tolima (…of AngloGold Ashanti)…It is in this context…[on] 30th September 2015 [several environmental] organizations received a letter signed by las Águilas Negras in which the integrity of some of their members was threatened…We recall that at the end of June and July 2015, there were various threats against members of the Network of Environmental Committees of Tolima…[and that] AngloGold Ashanti Colombia stigmatized [as] guerrilla [members] [against] peasants of Anaime-Cajamarca, who were…rejecting the La Colosa mining project, on February 22, 2013…We demand that the Colombian state guarantees the integrity of the members of the Red de Comités Ambientales…[and] that the Colombian state provides the means of protection needed to guarantee the work, integrity and honor of the defenders of life, water and territory.

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