Monica Feria-Tinta is currently acting on a COVID-19 mining dispute relating to Cerrejón mine, one of the largest open pit coal mines in the world, owned by BHP, Anglo American and Glencore.
Last week she filed a request with the UN Special Procedures on behalf of a group of Wayuu people (women and traditional authorities) to halt work at the mine, amid COVID-19, over claims it is causing air and water pollution and exacerbating risks to the health of the Wayuu filing the claim. The mine operates in Wayuu’s ancestral land. The claim is mostly based on a recent ruling from Colombia’s Constitutional Court which made findings of environmental contamination and ordered the company to prevent water and air pollution and control emissions, among other things.
The request is also asking Colombia, a Party to the Paris Agreement, to phase-out coal mining.
In addition to raising issues concerning potential health risks relating to COVID-19 in the mining sector, the case raises issues of State and private sector environmental and human rights obligations in the context of climate change.
Monica is instructed by CAJAR. The legal action has been widely covered by international press including the New York Times, Sydney Morning Herald, The Telegraph, and Reuters.