Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Statement by Remedios Fajardo

Representative of Wayuu Indigenous Rights Organisation
La Guajira, Colombia

"The coal that is mined in El Cerrejon, located on indigenous Wayuu and Afro-Colombian lands in Colombia, comes to Salem to provide electricity, benefitting this city. We want to tell the people of Salem that this coal has its origins in violence. Our communities have suffered greatly. Their human rights have been violated, their territory has been usurped, their houses destroyed and demolished, and they have had to shed their blood in order for this coal to arrive in Salem and other parts of the world (such as Cape Breton Island - Timothy). The acts that have been committed by El Cerrejon could be considered as war crimes, and they should be condemned by the world. PG&E has an indirect responsibility, for it is using a mineral that comes from the sacrifice of communities like Tabaco (destroyed last summer) and other communities that arte threatened with destruction, like Tamaquito, Roche, Chancleta and Patilla. We beg the city of Salem to express their solidarity with us, because we have a relationship with them because of this situation. Salem can influence PG&E. We would like PG&E, as a customer of the Cerrejon mine, to demand justice for the people who live in the mining zone, who were born and raised in the zone, and who have lived their lives there."

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