EL CERREJÓN — Glencore, the world's largest mining company, has a long story of corruption, human rights violation and environmental damage. This investigation looks at the scale of  the environmental disaster that Glencore's mine in Colombia causes for the local area.

When Russia invaded Ukraine in the spring of 2022, power plants across Europe were forced to look elsewhere for coal. A lot of them turned to Cerrejon, the controversial mine in Colombia which belongs to the giant Glencore mining company. Among them was the Danish power plant Nordjyllandværket, which in December 2022 received 77,200 tons of coal from that mine. 

Years before, the Cerrejon mine had been blacklisted by some power plants because of the negative impact on the local environment and human rights. However, Glencore declared that the circumstances had improved. In the spring of 2023 journalists from the Danish investigative media Danwatch and the Colombian outlet El Turbin traveled to Cerrejon to check the guarantees that Glencore keeps giving.

Their publications tells the story of the environmental disaster the mine is for the local area, the employees becoming sick from working in the mine, the activists being stalked and threatened, the locals who keep fighting. 

At Glencore's annual shareholder meeting in 2023 held in Zug, Switzerland, activists from around the world gathered to protest the company's damaging practices.

Glencore's board of directors repeatedly responded with evasive statements, claiming they were not aware of the issues. The company has been accused of causing contamination and displacing indigenous and local communities in countries like Colombia, Canada, and Australia. Despite recording significant profits, Glencore's actions have raised concerns among investors and communities worldwide, urging for accountability and changes in the company's behaviour.

Photo credit: Andrés Gomez

Team members

Jonathan Tybjerg

Jonathan Tybjerg is a Danish storyteller, editor and investigative reporter.

Jonathan Tybjerg

Lise Josefsen Hermann

Lise Josefsen Hermann is an independent journalist based in Ecuador.

Lise Josefsen Hermann Ecuador journalist

Andrés Gómez Tarazona

Andres Gomez is philologist based in Bogotá.

Andres Gomez

Omar Vera

Omar is co-founder of El Turbion and journalist.

Omar Vera


Danish media and research centre. Investigative journalism with focus on CSR, human rights, environment and conflict areas in a global perspective.


El Turbión

El Turbión is an alternative media broadcasting from Bogotá (Colombia), reporting on social movements and human rights.

El Turbión

Multimedia Radio TV Continente

Media Continente is a communication platform in the digital world.

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