Environmental Disaster in  La Guajira caused by Corruption and Mining

Photo credit:http://pacifista.co/cerrejon-mina-carbon-contaminacion/

Photo credit:http://pacifista.co/cerrejon-mina-carbon-contaminacion/

David Guarin, Contributor


La Guajira, Colombia. The northernmost state of Colombia is currently in a crisis. Corruption and  mining have all led to La Guajira being in a very dire need of resources. You might think that this isn’t true now that La Guajira is rich in resources, but corruption of the Colombian government steals many of the resources, as well as the money made from the biggest coal mine in the world, Cerrejón. Cerrejón is the biggest coal mine in the world, and it is located in La Guajira. Around 10% of Cerrejon’s earnings are invested in the country, with only 1% invested in Guajira.


It is said by the government that Cerrejon provides many positive effects, but this is not true. False advertising such as ‘clean coal’ and and “eco-friendly” responsible mining campaigns are all false. This is because the land and nature used  in mining is impossible to recover. There is no such thing as ‘clean coal’ because there is scientific evidence that coal is the main source of mercury pollution and burning it causes global warming. Coal mining destroys millions of acres of land and contaminates or destroys thousands of miles of streams of water.


The most viable solutions would be just to close Cerrejon. This would stop the environmental effect of the mine, and would stop many people from displacement. Although this is not possible until 2034, now that Cerrejon is now owned by external companies. After 2034, Cerrejon could be used for Colombian advancement in its economy and environment. Another solution that can be created through the Cerrejón is to seek equity in social investment to benefit the community or the sector of the population since previously the investment of social projects has not been equitable or done enough to offset the negative impacts of the mine.