Latin America Solidarity Centre

LASC Stands in Solidarity with Save Our Sperrins and Fuerza de Mujeres Wayuu

Anti-goldmine campaigner Cormac McAleer is one of three men who has been warned by police he is under death threat. Photo provided by The Irish News

LASC vigorously denounces death threats received by Save Our Sperrins Protectors and stands in solidarity with them.

Two months ago, during Latin America Week 2019, we held a public talk in Dublin entitled “Women Defending the Earth from Destructive Mining”.

We are horrified to inform that, among the panel we had the chance to listen to, two of the organisations represented have been seriously threatened in the last number of weeks.

Jakeline Romero Epiayu from the organisation Wayuu Women Force (@FuerzaMujeresWayuu), human rights defender denouncing the numerous human rights abuses and violations committed in La Guajira, Colombia, in the context of the Cerrejón coal mine activity, was threatened twice since her return to Colombia, as well as other members of Wayuu Women Force.

Save Our Sperrins Protectors in County Tyrone also received anonymous death threats over the past few days. Despite the police not specifying the motives of the death threats, it is obvious that the threats are related to the activity of SOS Protectors denouncing the health and environmental consequences of Dalradian Gold’s project to open a gold mine in the Sperrins mountains.

We acknowledge that Colombia and Ireland are different contexts in many respects, however, it is terribly sad and extremely worrying to see that, wherever huge economic interests are tied up in the exploitation of natural resources, and whenever communities try to organize to protect people, place, and planet, their lives are threatened.

#DefendTheDefenders