Colombian coal boom comes at steep price


Like snow, it swirls in the air, drifts to the ground and carpets grasslands, rivers and beaches on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. For many inhabitants of this region, the coal dust is a curse. Doctors say coal-related respiratory infections and disease rank among the main health problems in La Jagua de Ibirico, a municipality of 30,000 located in the department of Cesar near open-pit coal mines run by the U.S. company Drummond and the Swiss firm Glencore International. Inhabitants of La Jagua de Ibirico and two nearby municipalities complain that coal dust from the mines has hurt farming and fishing. They say it covers plants, prevents respiration and makes grass inedible for livestock. Frustration over environmental conditions, as well as poor benefits for coal... [Log in to read more]

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