Colombia: Protests demand World Bank divest from destructive mining company

Bogota, November 2.

Demonstrators gathered on November 2 in the Colombian capital of Bogata and the US capital, Washington DC, to simultaneously protest outside the International Finance Corporation, the private lending arm of the World Bank, against the shares it holds in Canadian mining company Eco Oro Minerals Corp.

The company’s sole asset is a mining concession in one of Colombia’s high altitude wetlands, known as the paramos, which provides fresh water for millions of Colombians, the Center for International Environmental Law said in a statement.

When Colombia’s highest court ruled that mining in the paramos was illegal, Eco Oro announced it would sue the country using investor-state dispute settlement.

“By continuing to invest in Eco Oro, the IFC is funding a lawsuit that seeks to undermine Colombia’s sovereign right to protect water and regulate in the public interest,” said Carla Garcia Zendejas of the CIEL. “How can this possibly align with its mission to fight poverty?”

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]