Colombia: Free the Bruno River!

Urgent action request from YLNM Members Coal Action Network

Dear supporters,

In October 2018 three Colombian leaders came to offer their support and to learn from communities in the UK fighting opencast coal mine.

Now they are asking for our assistance. They live in la Guajira, a semi desert region home to Wayuu indigenous people and more recently, to Cerrejon Coal Company. Cerrejon want to expand the mega coal mine to export it, including to Europe, but to do so they need to divert a river. This river, Arroyo Bruno, supports the delicate ecology in the area and is vital to life in the area and communities there are demanding that it not be allowed.

Cerrejon Opencast Coal Mine

Can you email the Colombian embassy today?

The Colombian Constitutional Court ruled that the diversion couldn’t happen until 10 points had been addressed, including taking water scarcity and climate change in to account. Affected communities need international support to ensure that the mining company doesn’t just push through these plans and that these points are addressed.

This moving short spoken letter ‘Lets Stop the Diversion of the Arroyo Bruno’ invites us to reflect on the use of the water and the coal and asks us to accompany their struggle for life. company.

Arroyo Bruno

With our support, they can stop this diversion and keep the coal in the ground.

Can you take a few minutes to email and add your voice to support frontline communities who are fighting the expansion of opencast coal mine?

Below is an email you can copy and paste and send to the the Colombian Embassy where you live? (Just google the contact email you need!)

Muchas gracias.

Model email: For example to the Colombian Embassy in London (please adapt)

Dear Antonio Jose Ardila,

Opencast Coal mining in Colombia: Diversion of the Arroyo Bruno and fulfilment of Constitutional Court Sentence SU-698 of 2017

I write to express my support for the communities affected by the proposed diversion of the Arroyo Bruno by the Cerrejon Coal Company and to request that you ensure they are not shut out of the decision making process.

I am aware that three Wayuu indigenous communities of La Gran Parada, Paradero and La Horqueta, have taken legal action against the planned expansion of the mine into the natural course of the crucial tributary Arroyo Bruno (Bruno Stream).

These three communities are demanding the fulfilment of Colombian Constitutional Court Sentence SU-698 of 2017, which includes the need for them to be allowed to participate fully in the process.

This is primarily a matter of indigenous and community rights; but it is also important to me given the effect of the diversion on water scarcity in La Guajira and the impact of increased coal production on climate change – two further points raised by the Constitutional Court of Colombia, which need to be resolved before continuing with the planned diversion.

I ask the Colombian embassy to communicate these concerns to the Cerrejon owners who are all based in London and to the relevant bodies in Colombia.

Yours sincerely,



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