IKN

Tis rigor and not law

The Continental Gold $CNL.to news release yesterday afternoon

Just before the bell yesterday, Continental Gold (CNL.to) published a news release entitled “Continental Gold Expands Upon and Clarifies Information Related to the Tragedy at its Berlin Project, Colombia“. What is most notable about the NR is that it spends a long time on issues that suit the company and fails to mention the only thing that matters. Some examples of the distracting techniques:
“Contrary to media speculation, the Municipality of
Yarumal has enjoyed calm and peace for a number of years without any
security outbreaks of record.”
This is guff, the world knows that Yarumal was and is still a FARC hot zone. That there haven’t been incidents in the last five years is good, it’s also related to the cease fire while the peace talks happened. If it were not a hot zone, the army would not be so keen on patrolling the area. Not only that, what the devil does “Contrary to media speculation…” actually mean here? (nothing).

“Additionally, the Mayor commented
that he has visited Ochalí nine or ten times over the past two years
without any security incidents.”
Good for him. Come on his own, did he? No bodyguards?

“…the Company would like to state that
its number one priority is the safety and security of its employees and
contractors.”
If that’s its #1 priority, I’d hate to think how they get on with their #5 priority. Or #10. In the lapse of just this month, CNL has seen four of its employees murdered and others seriously injured in terrorist attacks.

“According to an interview published by a
Medellin newspaper, one of the villagers stated: “What happened really
hurts. They [Continental Personnel] always greeted us, they were very
distinguished. Even on Sunday, they did an activity with the
townspeople. They were providing work, they made purchases in the small
shops [of Ochalí]. With what has transpired, the community loses.””
This is pathos and nonsense. We all know that the vast majority of people are good people, that goes for outlaying communities in Colombia as well who will welcome others with open arms and enjoy benefits of interaction. THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT WHY SECURITY DETAILS ARE DEPLOYED INTO THESE AREAS. This script has nothing to do with the events of this week, this is CNL throwing sequins into your eyes.
Which brings us to the main point of this post, the one thing CNL decided not to address in its NR of yesterday. And why? Because it is obviously the most difficult to answer. What’s more it is very simple to frame, too:
1) Did CNL know about the threats made to their team of geologists?
2) Did CNL do anything about it?
According to the father of the one of the geologists murdered there, the answer to the first question is a resounding YES. And the answer to the second question is also a resounding NO. Here is what Jairo Flórez, father of dead geologist Laura Flórez, said during a radio interview last week:
When
asked whether his daughter had spoke of any fear for what might happen
there, the emotional father replied, “Obviously! Obviously!” She’d spent
two weeks very scared. She phoned me and said, “Daddy, we’re all sad
because there are rumours that they’re going to attack us here. We don’t
know what to do.”

The
young woman also told her father that the company was monitoring the
situation, but nothing happened. “The last time I spoke with her
(Wednesday evening) she said, “Dad, we’re all scared to death here.”
She was on leave, but they phoned her and told her that she could travel to Medellín and from there to the (Berlín) camp, knowing the high risk they were running. So it seems to me that there was a lot of carelessness from the company”, said Flórez.

“I have the WhatsApp messages where my girl told me, “Daddy, how is it possible that the company sends us up uniforms and while they are being transported to us, they get cut up with knives? Daddy, what happened is very strange, we’re all very sad and fearful because the uniforms are full of holes” (she wrote with a sad face icon). This was on the 17th of this month. They knew the risks they were taking and the company should have got them out. But they didn’t do anything. For me, that’s very lax of the company.”
We can add to this testimony that of the family of another of the mudered geologists, Camilo Andrés Tirado. His father though tears  told Caracol Radio:

“They had no protection and they did not give them the least amount of security because…because they had nobody watching over them and it was a small village with very few houses.”

In the title line of its NR yesterday, CNL was keen to use the verb “clarify”. If they are so keen on clarification I’m sure they will quickly want to clarify that. Please.

UPDATE:  A new development. Dora Elena Balvin, the secretary of Mines in the
Antioquia region of Colombia where the attack on the geologists working
for Continental Gold (CNL.to) occurred (specifically in the Yarumal
district), stated in an interview today that, “Yarumal has always seen acts of violence”, (minute six of this seven minute interview). This directly contradicts the company line that the area was peaceful. We also note in this interview on the tragic events with army general Ramirez, in charge of security there, that the army has been conducting patrols in this area for some time in order to seek out dissident FARC rebels. Again, Yarumal is obviously a Hot Zone at the moment.

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