Description of Delegation to Colombia, July 16-30, 2015

COLOMBIA SUPPORT NETWORK (CSN) DELEGATION TO COLOMBIA July 16-30, 2015. CSN is planning a delegation to Colombia for July16-30, 2015. We will focus upon the threat of the plans of multinational mining companies and other international businesses to rural communities and environmentally sensitive areas in Colombia. We will travel first to Bucaramanga in east central Colombia to learn about the popular campaign to oppose mining and development plans of Eco- Oro, a Canadian/Colombian company and others to construct open pit mines in Santurban, a water-producing area which supplies water to several towns and cities, among them Bucaramanga, a city of one million people which is the capital of Santander Department (province). We expect to visit small mining towns in Santurban and discuss the threats to the area and the response of residents and community leaders. Then we will proceed to the Sibundoy Valley in the southern Colombia Department of Putumayo to discuss with the Kamentsa and Inga indigenous communities their struggle to preserve their lands and their thousands-of-years- old culture from the inroads of a gigantic highway project planned by the Colombian government and from the mining plans of multinational companies. We plan to visit the road construction site and potential mining sites. Next we will proceed to the historic mining community of Marmato in Caldas Department, where a unified response by community members and an artisan miners’ union has turned back an audacious plan by the Canadian/Colombian multinational corporation Gran Colombia Gold, supported by the Colombia government, to raze the city and carve out an open-pit mine in its place. The plan was to remove from the gold mountain Marmato some $18 billion worth of gold in 20 years. Finally we will come to Bogota to discuss our observations with human rights organizations, government officials and political party leaders. Our purpose is to learn first-hand what is happening in the Colombian countryside and gain an appreciation for what this means for those who live in the communities we visit, as well as for the world’s environment. We plan to fly from Chicago to Bucaramanga on July 16 and return from Bogota on July 29, arriving in Chicago early on the morning of July 30. The cost for this delegation is $2,800, including airfare from Chicago to Colombia and back. We have room for 12 people on this delegation.

If you are not in the Chicago area and are interested in participating in this delegation, we can discuss alternative arrangements for you to reach Bucaramanga, which is where the delegation begins.

Please contact the CSN office by telephone at (608) 257-8753, by email at, or by email to CSN President Jack Laun at

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