Joint Press Release from Coal Exporting Companies against Threats

Bogota, May 16, 2019

On June 7, 2018, we, the companies listed here, issued a joint statement in which we expressed our reiterated rejection of the threats against the life and integrity of people in our areas of operation, and we reproach any act that seeks to undermine the right to participation and expression. To date, we continue working on the development and implementation of joint collaboration strategies for the protection of life and personal integrity of people at risk from threats, based on informed and respectful dialogue.

We received with repudiation the numerous cases of threats and stigmatization that have occurred in recent months, and particularly the pamphlets circulated on May 11 against our workers, who are members of the Sintraminergética, Sintradem, CGT and Sintracarbón unions, as well as against social leaders of the regions of Cesar and La Guajira. We believe that the defense work carried out by these leaders is fundamental within the framework of the democratic exercise, and we express our rejection to those who consider that this exercise is questioned by the companies here signatories.

We believe that peace and business activity is fundamental in building relationships of mutual respect, in dialogue and in the collective search for the improvement and transformation of social and economic conditions. Therefore, any violent action against workers, communities and social leaders is an attack on the coexistence of all.

We recognize the important work carried out by social leaders in Colombia in the construction of peace. Beyond the difference in ideas and positions on issues of joint interest, we consider essential the exercise of freedom of association, expression and citizen participation, as an essential vehicle for coexistence. Therefore, we consider as violence against companies any violence exercised in our areas of operation.

We make a respectful but vehement call to the appropriate authorities to thoroughly investigate the threat pamphlets, to bring to justice those who intimidate and affect participation and coexistence. It is not possible to build a company and society in an atmosphere of uneasiness where those who wish to undermine the constructive relations between the different actors in the Cesar and La Guajira regions are not identified.

We reaffirm our commitment to continue working from the companies in the coal sector, working jointly with the State and Civil Society toward peaceful coexistence and the promotion of the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms.