Unmask Glencore: Toxic mining in Peru & Colombia
Glencore paints itself as an essential actor in the transition to renewable energies, pointing to the metals and minerals it extracts being used in renewable energy technologies like batteries and wind turbines. But Glencore's mining projects are having devastating impacts on our climate and on communities across Latin America.
In Colombia, Glencore’s reckless mining of coal — the most polluting fossil fuel — is forcing local communities from their homes and lands and causing widespread environmental degradation. Indigenous Wayuu and Afro-Descendant communities in La Guajira have been fighting back successfully through Colombian courts to protect their health, sacred lands, water, and traditional ways of life. But now Glencore is suing the Colombian government through secretive corporate courts for attempting to stop it polluting and expanding. Coal has no part in a just energy transition. Glencore must commit to a just mine closure, addressing the social and environmental impacts it has caused.
In Peru, Glencore’s copper mining is contaminating water supplies, land and air — endangering over 56,000 people, mainly from Indigenous K’ana and Quechua communities in Espinar, Cusco. Community-led protests, blockades, and legal challenges have blocked Glencore's attempts to expand its mine onto indigenous lands without consent. Those protecting their lands have faced violent repression and criminalisation. Glencore must accept stronger regulatory oversight and commit to practices that minimise detrimental impacts on health, environmental pollution and compensates communities for the damage it causes. That is the only way that mining companies should be allowed to participate in the energy transition.
The UK is home to one of Glencore’s head offices and many of the investors bankrolling its operations. Frontline communities are calling on UK citizens to stand with them in solidarity and apply pressure here to secure their demands. Will you write to Glencore, and its investors to demand they put people and planet above profit?