Latin America Solidarity Centre

Activity 5: Blood Coal


To learn about the impacts of Irish energy use on people and the environment in Latin America.


Facilities to play a video.



Indigenous Wayuu protest against the Cerrejon mine. Photo Source: Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina


Senior Cycle:

I. Basic Communicative Proficiency, 10, 11

II. Language Awareness, 2

III. Cultural Awareness, 1, 3, 4, 5



Write the following questions up for students to discuss:

  • Ask them which they think we use the most in Ireland? ¿Qué tipo de energía utilizamos más en Irlanda?
  • And which we should use the most? (And why?) ¿Qué tipo deberíamos utilizar más? ¿Por qué?
  • Ask students where they think each form of energy comes from and which country we get it from/produces the most. ¿Qué país produce más esas formas de energía?

Elicit some answers to the questions.

Give students a copy of the questions relating to the video.

¡Contesta las preguntas!

  • What percentage of Colombian coal comes from Cerrejón?
  • Name the three companies that own the mine.
  • What happens to people who live in the way of the expanding mine?
  • What happened to Emilio Ramón Pérez Díaz?
  • What types of actions does Jakelin Romero suggest doing?

Students watch the video and then try to answer the questions.


A view of the Moneypoint generating station outside Kilrush. Photograph by John Kelly.

Explain to students that Ireland still gets electricity from coal, and the vast majority of it comes from Cerrejón. Ask students what they think Ireland should do.

Invite students to find out more about LASC and other groups’ ongoing campaign to boycott Cerrejon coal and look into getting involved.