The multinational gold mining company, AngloGold Ashanti, on Monday took legal action against a small town in central Colombia after its citizens allegedly prohibited the mining company’s employees’ freedom of movement.
The Colombian branch of the South African-based gold mining conglomerate AngloGold Ashanti is taking the municipality of Piedras in the central Colombian department of Tolima to court claiming that the town is breaching the right of their employees’ freedom of movement.
Citizens of Piedras started a road block around the municipality two weeks ago. Protestors were up in arms over the company’s plans to build a large ore processing plant for their proposed “La Colosa” mine nearby.
While the blockade does not appear to have been initiated by the local government, AngloGold Ashanti claimed that the authorities have failed to take action to prevent it from happening.
The complaint specifically names the town’s mayor, Archimedes Avila Rondon, who has been vocal in his opposition to the company´s presence.
“We are not preventing AngloGold from working, we are not violating their right to free movement,” said the mayor.
For its part, the town council has been less than welcoming towards the multinational.
“We can not be oblivious to the monstrous problems this project could bring to Piedras,” read a letter written by the town council on February 14th.
Piedras is an agricultural area, primarily dedicated to growing rice, and objectors are concerned about the potential water use and pollution impacts of a gold ore processing plant.
- Anglogold entuteló a Piedras (El Nuevo Dia)
- Doima declara a AngloGold Ashanti minera non grata (La Silla Vacia)