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Italy/Colombia: Enel suspends contract with Drummond & Prodeco (part of Glencore); NGOs cite human rights abuse

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17 May 2017

“Enel position on Colombian Coal supply”

Author: Enel

In May 2016, the Dutch human rights organisation Pax asked Enel to investigate various past and present human rights impacts in the Cesar region of Colombia, and their alleged links with the mining houses from which Enel was, at the time, sourcing some of its coal supply. In May 2017, Pax returned to Enel’s Annual Shareholders Meeting, asking if Enel had conducted a human rights due diligence; if any proof of human rights violations had been found; if the coal import from the Cesar region had been suspended; and if Enel was willing to resume imports in the event that the mining companies delivered improvements. Enel CEO Francesco Starace replied to the questions, saying that Enel had indeed carried out the assessments, which included safety, environmental and social aspects, as well as a human rights impact component. Enel’s assessments did not find any evidence of human rights violations by the mining companies, and found that both mining companies had a number of sound policies in place, but nevertheless identified certain areas – in particular relating to the local communities in the region – where specific improvements were suggested. These issues were communicated to the mining companies, which have both demonstrated a constructive attitude to addressing the problems they face..

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17 May 2017

Why does Enel suspend contract with Drummonds & Prodeco in Colombia? - includes company's response

Author: Semana Sostenible

"¿Qué hay detrás del “veto” al carbón colombiano en Italia?"

Europe’s biggest energy company, Enel, has decided not to renew  its contracts with Drummond and Prodeco citing their carbon reduction strategy as their main reason. However the Dutch NGO PAX says the decision is certainly linked to para-militarism and human rights violations in Colombia

Drummond’s response:

This organisation is making false accusations on our involvement  in alleged human rights violations and asking that we offer remedy to the victims of an armed conflict that has been going on for more than 50years in Colombia. It is the government’s responsibility to establish rules for remedy and secure resources for the process.

When you [PAX] were undertaking the ground work, we informed you that your sources were false witnesses. Unfortunately, you ignored our warning which undermines the objectivity and independence of your report which is full of false claims and inaccuracies. This can be corroborated with the many legal decisions in favour of the company both in Colombia and the United States

[non-official translation from article in Spanish]

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Author: Revista Semana

¿Qué hay detrás del “veto” al carbón colombiano en Italia? – 10 de mayo de 2017

…Enel no renovó los contratos con Drummond y Prodeco argumentando que está en un plan de descarbonización. Pero la ONG holandesa PAX dice que esto tiene que ver con paramilitarismo y violaciones a los derechos humanos…El…diario italiano La Repubblica publicó un artículo…“Enel le dice basta al carbón ensangrentado de ese país latinoamericano”…La nota reseñaba las declaraciones de Francesco Starace, el director general de esa compañía…en las que afirmaba que no importarían más carbón colombiano. Y asociaba esta decisión a las denuncias sobre la presunta participación de algunas empresas productoras en violaciones a los derechos humanos y en los crímenes cometidos por los paramilitares…Aunque [Enel] no encontró evidencias de violaciones directas en último aspecto, lo cual según Starace no excluye que estas pudieron haber ocurrido en el pasado, la investigación sí identificó algunas áreas, particularmente en las relacionadas con las comunidades, donde “era posible hacer mejoras sustanciales” ...Drummond…por su parte, ha rechazado en múltiples ocasiones las denuncias de PAX en su contra. De hecho, en una carta de…2016…el presidente de Drummond, José Miguel Linares, afirma que esa organización está “haciendo falsas acusaciones sobre relación a supuestas violaciones de derechos humanos y pidiendo que ofrezcamos remediación a las víctimas del conflicto armado que lleva más de 50 años en Colombia”…

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15 May 2017

Colombia: Enel suspends purchases from Drummond & Prodeco's coal; NGOs say decision linked to human rights abuses

Author: PAX for Peace

“Enel suspends blood coal imports” 04-05-2017

Europe’s biggest energy company, Italian multinational Enel, has suspended imports of coal from the Cesar mining region Colombia. Enel CEO Francesco Starace stated this at the annual stockholders meeting in Rome. The announcement was made in the context of investigations into the human rights impact in the coal mining region of Cesar and Enel’s de-carbonization strategy…Enel will not renew its contracts unless its operational requirements and sustainability standards, including on human rights, are met…Starace: "We did identify certain areas – in particular relating to the local communities in the region – where substantial improvement areas were suggested.” Asked if this research led Enel to cease its coal imports from Drummond and Prodeco, Starace said, ”We interrupted all import of coal from the identified companies, in line with Enel’s reduced coal demand. At the moment, we do not have ongoing contracts with Prodeco or Drummond.”…

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