A former employee of the second largest coal exporting company in Colombia on Tuesday claimed that he had received death threats because he cooperated with the media and has publicly denounced the company’s Caribbean coal spill.
Anibal Perez said that he has received several death threats because he aided in the environmental investigation into the United States-based coal giant, Drummond. The company’s shipping operations were suspended on February 6 after one of their ships sank on January 13, dumping more than a ton of coal into the Caribbean Sea. The company insisted that the actions were necessary in order to save the lives of crew members. However, they did not report the incident until footage of the disaster was aired on television. Perez reportedly sent photographs of the sinking barge to several media outlets.
Perez, the president of an association of ex-Drummond employees who claim to have been made sick due to their former jobs, was supposedly threatened via email and over the phone. According to Perez, the anonymous threats claimed his life, the lives of his family, and other association members, were now in danger because Perez “stuck his nose” in other people’s business.
Nevertheless, the activist said that “we are not going to shut up.” He added that although this is not the first time he has received threats for speaking out against Drummond (he even had to move his family out of Colombia for a time) he has not received an adequate amount of security.
Perez left Drummond reportedly due to a past work related illness.