Open-Pit Coal Mine Suspended in Colombia

A community protests coal mining in Santander, Colombia. PHOTO: Provided by Hernán Morantes.

Hernán Morantes, a lawyer and ELAW partner in Colombia, recently shared exciting news: the environmental license for an open-pit coal mine covering 1,949 hectares in San Vicente and El Carmen de Chucurí, Santander, has been suspended.

Earlier this year, the community organized a mass protest to oppose the 30-year license granted to the multinational corporation COLCCO S.A. to mine coal in the region. Hernán’s team worked with the community and members of Congress to secure this victory!

“This is a provisional suspension of the license by the Administrative Court of Santander,” says Hernán. “It is a significant triumph that we hope will be ratified with a final ruling to shelve this harmful project. We appreciate ELAW’s support in evaluating the company’s environmental impact assessment, which has helped strengthen our work to reject the mining license. The company does not meet the legal requirements to plan a mining project in Colombia. We will continue to help the community defend life and nature against corporate abuses.”

Congratulations to everyone working to defend clean air, clean water, and healthy ecosystems in Santander, Colombia!

For more information, please see:

Tribunal Administrativo de Santander suspendió licencia a Colcco. W Radio. May 17, 2023.

Suspenden licencia ambiental a multinacional Colcco que pretende explotar carbón en Santander. Blu Radio. May 17, 2023.


Bern Johnson
Executive Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide