The Catapistas

We are a group of around 100 volunteers and more than 1000 subscribers. We offer a specific and action-oriented involvement for anyone who is committed to a more sustainable society. Our focus is on the extraction of minerals and metals, as they are an essential part of many themes within the climate crisis and North-South issues, such as pollution, climate change, water scarcity, deforestation, conflicts, corruption, labour conditions, international law, deregulation and the debt burden of countries in the south.

Catapistas collaborate on awareness, networking, research, lobbying and/or exchange. In this way, CATAPA both in Belgium and internationally, can play a pioneering role  in raising awareness about this growing problem and offer alternatives for responsible mining practices. We work in North and South Working Groups. For more information on our working groups, see below.

SOUTH WORKING GROUPS:

Peru

The Peru Working Group supports farming and indigenous communities in Cajamarca Peru, through cooperation with the local NGO Grufides, who strive since 2010 against Yanacocha mine and it’s threatening extension, the Conga project. They give visibility to the emblematic case of Maxima and the criminalization of protest and activists by the authorities and companies. The working group supports Grufides and other partners spreading awareness and solidarity via social media and setting up new projects on water and indigenous rights, They also support the community to mobilise through fundraising events in Belgium.

Bolivia

The Bolivia working group focuses on mining issues in the region of Oruro. They work in close cooperation with local NGO CEPA (Centro de Ecology and Pueblos Andinos). The working group has recently sent out two volunteers to work directly with CEPA over the next year. They also do a lot of awareness raising in Belgium, coordinate projects for water supply for mining affected communities and organize fundraising events. For example, last October, they put on a ‘Banquet For Bolivia’.

Colombia

The Colombia working group centres its work on the case of Cajamarca municipality in Tolima. They work in collaboration with Cosajuca NGO (El colectivo socio-ambiental juvenil de Cajamarca) against the La Colosa project. They raise awareness and fundraise here in Belgium, and currently have a volunteer based in Cajamarca, helping with mobilisation against the mining project.

NORTH WORKING GROUPS:

Study and Lobby

The study strand of the Study and Lobby working group supports the South working groups and partners in researching key issues and writing key documents  to inform our volunteers, partners and the general public and support our partners in capacity building. . The lobby strand responsible for networking strategies and advocacy. As such, seeks to foster an inter-institutional cooperation on the Flemish, Belgian and European level.

Comov

The Comov working group works on communications and movement. The Comov volunteers work on communication activities including maintaining the CATAPA website and social media (Facebook and Twitter) and produce the CATAPA newsletter. To stay up to date with case details, they work in close collaboration with the South working groups and share information from general updates to press releases. The movement strand of the working group covers a supportive and enabling framework for all volunteers and working groups, and organising activities, from volunteer weekends/events to gathering volunteers for public mobilisation.

Education

The Education working group works on raising awareness through formal education. They develop educational material and organise workshops, seminars, debates and information sessions in primary and secondary schools and universities. They also support other forms of awareness raising, including photo exhibitions, documentary festivals and trainings.

Are you interested in becoming a Catapista? Then click on ‘Join

If you wish to get involved with any of the working groups, please write to info@catapa.be, naming which working group you’d like to be put in contact with.