Exxon to relocate village in Colombia

August 6, 2001

Dear friends,

Exxon's 100% owned mining subsidiary Intercor is poised to evict all residents of the Indigenous/campesino community of Tabaco in the province of La Guajira, Colombia, on 9th or 10th August, in order to facilitate expansion of South America's biggest coal strip mine, Cerrejon Norte.

Residents have been resisting eviction and holding out for an adequate relocation package which would allow the whole community to stay together and move to a new site where they could continue to practice small-scale agriculture. The relocation arrangements on offer from the company would break up the community and ensure that most members had insufficient funds to buy land from which to live - the result would be poverty and unemployment in nearby towns, already swollen with people displaced by Colombia's internal war. Intercor is now threatening to use Colombian police and army personnel to force the residents to move. residents are determined to resist. The community's legal representative, Armando Perez, fears a massacre.

Please call, write or fax your nearest ExxonMobil Headquarters, and the Colomian Embassy / Consulate. A letter to ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond in Dallas, Texas, is below. Please take any action you can to pressure Exxon or the Colombian authorities to halt this eviction - whether it be through letters, vigils, demonstrations, lobbying Congressional or Parliamentary representatives, or whatever else seems effective and appropriate.
Please let the Colombia Solidarity Campaign know of any action you are able to take by contacting them at [email protected]. If you are able to describe any actions you take in Spanish, please also contact Armando Perez at [email protected]. Thank you.

Chris Doran, Pressurepoint, and Richard Solly, Colombia Solidarity
Campaign, London.

Call / fax / write CEO Lee Raymond in the USA:

Mr Lee Raymond
Chairman and CEO
ExxonMobil Corporation
5959 Las Colinas Blvd
Irving, Texas 75039
Ph: 1 800 252 1800 / 1 972 444 1000
Fax: 1 972 444 1350

Sample Letter:

Dear Mr Raymond,

I am writing in support of residents of the community of Tabaco in La Guajira, Colombia, who face imminent forced removal as a result of the mining activities of Exxon's 100% owned subsidiary Intercor. It is clear that there is considerable damage being inflicted on this small, subsistence farming community by the expansion of the coal strip mine at Cerrejon Norte. The community is not opposed in principle to the mining operations but is rightly demanding a relocation settlement from company and government which would enable the whole community to move together to a new site where they could continue to practice agriculture.The relocation arrangements currently on offer from Intercor would break up the community and condemn most members of it to a life of debilitating poverty in the slums of surrounding small towns.

The latest news received from the community is particularly alarming. Intercor is poised to break up the community by force - possibly with the assistance of the Colombian army and police - on 9th or 10th August. This action is wholly unacceptable and we intend to ensure that it does not go unchallenged by the community's supporters overseas.

I urge you to contact your colleagues at Intercor to demand that this grave violation of the rights of the community of Tabaco not be carried out. This matter is of the utmost urgency. Please let me know immediately what action you propose to take in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

For more information contact:

Chris Doran
Campaign Director
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.pressurepoint.org