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"Public letter from Cerrejón to Global Witness on the 2016 Defenders of the Earth Report"
Author: Lina Echeverri, Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications, Cerrejón, Published on: 24 July 2017
We have read carefully the 2016 Defenders of the Earth report, published by Global Witness. The loss of any human life is cause for sorrow, and this is particularly the case where people are killed as they are trying to defend their land and their traditions. We recognize that this is a major issue that should be addressed by Governments, companies, communities and civil society organizations in order to prevent these horrendous violations from occurring. However, we have enormous concerns over the accusations included in the report towards our company, Cerrejón. As you state in the Global Witness website, you are committed to carrying out rigorous investigations, using multiple techniques to gather evidence. Although you make reference to the fact Cerrejón has publicly condemned the accusations against Ms Jakeline Romero, we were never contacted or requested to provide information regarding our impact management model, our human rights principles and processes or our specific actions whenever these cases have risen...We have never ignored the threats received by local leaders: on the contrary, we have regularly and insistently called on Government authorities to take the immediate actions required to guarantee their life and dignity and to bring to justice those responsible.