In the municipality of Cajamarca in the province of Tolima, Colombia, the transnational mining company AngloGold Ashanti plans to open an industrial gold mine called La Colosa (“the giant”). With estimated gold reserves of over 30 million ounces, La Colosa would rank as one of the biggest gold mines in Latin America. Cajamarca is a rural municipality in the Colombian Andean Mountains characterized by small scale agricultural production. Since the project was announced in 2008, local residents, NGOs, peasant organizations, youth and student groups, local politicians, entrepreneurs, and academics from Cajamarca and the neighboring municipalities Ibagué and Piedras have mobilized against the project. They joined forces to become the “Environmental Committee for the Protection of Life” (Comité Ambiental en Defensa de la Vida) and organized protest marches, street blockades and popular consultations.
The film “Si paramos La Colosa, paramos cualquier cosa” (“Stopping La Colosa, reclaiming our territory”, duration 26 min.) by Hanna Thiesing and Kristina Dietz documents the use of popular consultations (span.: consultas populares) in the conflict around the La Colosa gold mining project in Tolima, Colombia. From the perspective of the different actors involved, the film tells the story of the organization of the anti-mining consultations in Tolima asking the following questions: Why did the protest actors mobilize for popular consultations? What obstacles were they confronted with? What possibilities do popular consultations offer for protest groups to enforce their claims in conflicts over mining?
The film can be downloaded in the original Spanish version and with German, English and French subtitles:
Past screenings and festival participations:
Related to popular initiatives in conflicts over mining see also the following GLOCON publications and events (in German):
Working Paper No 4: Direkte Demokratie in Konflikten um Bergbau in Lateinamerika: das Goldminenprojekt La Colosa in Kolumbien von Kristina Dietz
Policy Paper No 2: Mit Bürger_innenentscheiden gegen Bergbau und Fracking von Neelke Wagner und Kristina Dietz
„Mit Bürger*innenentscheiden den Bergbau stoppen!?“ Diskussion und Film. Veranstaltung im Rahmen der Alternativen Rohstoffwoche 2017