The North Shore Colombia Solidarity Committee was formed by people from various North Shore communities in Massachusetts in response to the news that a portion of the coal for the Salem, Mass. power plant was coming from a mine in Colombia where human rights violations were being committed against the people in the villages surrounding the mine.
As the group learned more about the story of the village of Tabaco, which was demolished to make way for the mine, a video that showed the events became available through PressurePoint (a human rights activist group) and was aired on Salem Access Television. People were beaten, homes were leveled before possessions could be removed, and the only compensation that had been initially offered for the houses and properties was less than one week's worth of pay (as an unskilled laborer).
The mine is located in the La Guajira peninsula of northern
Colombia. Operations have also caused disruption in the lives of the indigenous
Way˙u people that have made this desert area their home for thousands of years
(the background for this website is a photograph taken in 1983 of a Way˙u
weaving, by anthropologist Deborah Pacini). These maps show the La Guajira:
Four activists from Colombia have been to Salem to ask for the support of North Shore residents of Massachusetts. Their request has been simply to help them fight for the respect of human rights of the people who are threatened by the unfair labor practices/unbridled expansion of Colombian mines. Armando Perez Araujo (the public defender for Tabaco), Remedios Fajardo Gomez (leader of Yanama, a Way˙u activist organization ... also, see Remedios' statement), Francisco RamÝrez (President of the Colombian Mineworkers Union), and Jose Julio Perez (a resident of Tabaco) eloquently told us about the tragedies that have occurred in connection with the large mines of Colombia. Also, there are serious problems for organizers of labor unions in general. Our sincere hope is that by raising awareness in the United States, we can put to an end atrocities such as the demolition of Tabaco.
Contact us ... firstname.lastname@example.org