Witness for Peace New England

Delegation to Colombia

August 4-11, 2007



Colombia is the largest recipient of U.S. military aid in the hemisphere, and also the country with the highest levels of official and paramilitary violence, including forced displacement, killings of journalists, trade unionists, and human rights activists.
Foreign corporations are some of the major beneficiaries of this situation, and multinational corporations control Colombia’s two largest exports, oil and coal, much of which comes back to U.S. markets.  Most of the coal goes to supply power plants in Massachusetts and the southeastern U.S., including the Salem Harbor and Brayton Point power stations in Massachusetts.
Colombia’s coal comes from two of the largest open-pit coal mines in the world:  El Cerrejón, begun by Exxon in the 1980s and now owned by a consortium of European-based companies, and La Loma, owned by the Alabama-based Drummond Company.  Both of these mines export large quantities of coal to the United States, and both have been accused of serious human rights violations.
This delegation will follow the trail of the coal that supplies power to New England, meeting with human rights activists, trade unionists, members of Afro-Colombian and indigenous communities, and others affected by coal production in Colombia.  We will explore how we as consumers can work in solidarity with communities and organizations in Colombia to hold corporations accountable for human rights.
Cost: The price of the 11-day delegation is $1350 USD.  The delegation fee covers all set-up, preparation, meals, lodging, interpreters, transportation within Colombia. The fee also covers extensive reading and activist tools both before and after the delegation.

Fund-Raising: You can ask us for fund-raising materials or advice. Occasionally scholarship money becomes available.

Deadline:  ASAP: Application with a non-refundable deposit of $150. Click here print application.
Contact:  Avi Chomsky (achomsky@salemstate.edu; 978-542-6389); Ellen Gabin (ergabin.comcast.net; 978-546-7230(home); 978-281-1548(work)).
Witness for Peace (WFP) is a politically independent, grassroots organization of people committed to nonviolence and led by faith and conscience. Our mission is to support peace, justice, and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing US policies and corporate practices that contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean.  For more info on the WFP Colombia program: www.witnessforpeace.org.