Our core mission is the accompaniment and support of organizations and communities fighting for social, economic and environmental justice, especially those affected by extractive projects in Latin America. We are in a constant learning process about how to do this in a way which reflects our vision and principles.Read more
How we work
TerraJusta has a bilingual staff team based between Bolivia, the UK and Ireland. We want to make the best use possible of being ‘a bridge’ between communities impacted by extractivism and ecological breakdown in Latin America, and the places where the transnational corporations and powerful economic institutions responsible for those impacts are headquartered.
Seeing ourselves as part of a global movement, we recognise that the kinds of accompaniment and solidarity work that we seek to do are not possible without long-term relationship-building and a willingness to reflect and self-critically evaluate how we work and the ways that we make use of our resources and privileges. Over recent years we have placed ever greater emphasis on the importance of building those relationships in, and from, the ground zero of impacted territories.
We have also developed our collaborative activities with other coalitions, NGOs, groups and movements internationally, particularly in Europe and North America, in order to mutually support and amplify our impact on these issues.
Southern Peru has become an area of special attention for our work since 2018. This is a region with a majority indigenous population that is facing a wave of extractive mining projects and related conflicts. Its proximity to our base in Bolivia allows us to build deeper long-term relationships and have greater impacts. We travel regularly to the region to meet with and bring organisations together. Our key ally in the region is Derechos Humanos y Medio Ambiente – Puno (DHUMA), an organisation which works with local communities.
In 2018, along with other organisations and networks we internationalised the call for criminalisation proceedings to be dropped against social leaders in the wake of the 2011 ‘Aymarazo’ protests against Bear Creek’s Santa Ana mine in the Puno region. These proceedings sought to establish legal precedents for quashing dissent against extractive projects which could have far-reaching consequences for communities living in mining zones. The threat of revived mining activity persists in the area and we are in touch with local groups about how we can support and amplify their resistance.
Since 2019, as members of London Mining Network (LMN), we have been looking into the Quellaveco mining project in the Moquegua region, in the southern Andes of Peru, which is owned by London-based mining multinational Anglo American. The project has provoked conflict due to the fears of farmers and locals about contamination of their rivers and water sources. We are working with DHUMA and Moquegua activists, and in 2020 took questions from them to Anglo American’s AGM, including about the management of Covid19 at the mine.
In 2017-18 we coordinated international campaigning against the criminalisation of those leading protests against the El Quimbo megadam in Huila, Colombia, which is owned by the Europe-based multinational Enel.
Team members travelled to La Guajira in Colombia in 2017, and since then we have worked with international allies to highlight the impacts of the Cerrejón opencast coal mine owned by mining giants AngloAmerican, BHP and Glencore. Our work on the case has included bringing community testimony and questions to company AGMs in London as part of London Mining Network. We have also helped provide support to criminalized community leaders facing ongoing threats and intimidation. We co-organised a public seminar in Ireland in 2019 with community leader Jakeline Romero in coalition with the ongoing Irish Stop Blood Coal Campaign. We’ve co-produced videos documenting the mine’s impact and community demands; facilitated experience sharing and strategy exchange with other mining affected communities in Latin America; and during COVID 19 we helped run a crowdfunder campaign with allies to provide immediate relief and supplies to communities affected by the mine.
El Salvador: As members of the International Allies, we support solidarity activities and campaigns with the National Roundtable (Mesa) Against Mining in El Salvador and the Central American Alliance Against Mining (ACAFREMIN). We have travelled to El Salvador ourselves as well as facilitating the participation of allies in Peru in these spaces – and in return bringing colleagues from ACAFREMIN and Mesa organisations to Peru – in order to support exchange and generate strategic discussion between communities in resistance across the region.
Ecuador: Since 2019 we have participated in the #GlobalAntiChevron Day on May 21st, which denounces and demands justice for the contamination that Chevron-Texaco caused in the Ecuadorian Amazon for three decades. We have collaborated with the Union of those Affected by Chevron-Texaco (UDAPT), supporting their efforts with multimedia materials and dissemination of the case. This work is also a contribution to the global campaign to dismantle corporate power and end impunity for transnational corporations. The Chevron case is emblematic of corporate impunity, and highlights the need for a binding instrument that enshrines corporate accountability for the impacts of their operations and guarantees access to justice and reparations for those affected.
We are members of the London Mining Network, International Allies, and the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power. We contribute time and communications materials to active campaigning efforts as part of those networks. In 2020 we joined forces with a range of groups to highlight how mining companies have taken advantage of the Covid19 pandemic to repress and endanger communities and further their own profiteering.
Reads and resources
- London Mining Network Anglo American - How clean are your hands?
- London Mining Network Anglo American responses to AGM queries raise more questions than they answer
- Report BHP: Fine Words, Foul Play
- Report A Giant in Espinar - Glencore and the patterns of corporate power in the South of Peru
This Collection is our little effort to showcase some of the brilliant thinking, tools and other resources that exist out there across the various movements for social change. And in turn provide you, the active and the curious, with some entry points into current debates, access to excellent strategy and planning tools, and ideas for improving your facilitation or working together better as a group. We have Spanish resources too.