Tag Archives: Colombia

Colombian Military Massacres Peasants in Oil-and-Coal Related Protests

27 Jun
catatumbo-protests-jun-2013-300x199

Police violently disperse unarmed peasant protesters in Catatumbo, Colombia, Jun 2013 (photo by Telesur)

from Root Force

The Colombian military has killed at least four peasant protesters in the region of Catatumbo, wounded dozens more (including 21 gunshot wounds) and arrested hundreds.

From Alliance for Global Justice:

In Catatumba, peasants have been holding protests, blocking roads and occupying facilities to protest to the government’s chemical spraying of Monsanto’s RoundUp Ultra herbicide as part of coca eradication efforts; and the refusal of the government to establish a Peasant Reserve Zone, as authorized by legislation in 1994 and 1996. That legislation would provide protected land for collective farming. Protesters say that they are being denied this in favor of concessions made to foreign coal [and oil] companies.

Learn more about the background of the protests here, then send a letter to Colombian officials demanding an end to the  violence.

Huila Community of Colombia Continues to Defend the Earth from Mega-Development

28 Feb

From UpsideDownWorld.org, by Polinizaciones

huila_violento

The New Year in Huila started as 2012 finished, with the National Authority of Environmental Licenses’ (ANLA) refusal  to hold the energy company Enel-Endesa-Emgesa accountable for failing to comply with the environmental license for the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project.

The Comptroller’s Office has continually studied the information put forth by Association of Affected Peoples of the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project (Asoquimbo), and has backed the local communities’ demands that the environmental license be respected in regards to resettlement, compensations and environmental mitigation.  Meanwhile in Huila, local media have falsely reported that nothing is wrong in the region and have irresponsibly reduced their reporting to nothing more than public relations on behalf of the company’s image.

Nonetheless, throughout Huila, the resistance has not only manifested from the communities affected by the Quimbo Dam, but also from the communities in Gigante and Garzón affected by petroleum company Emerald Energy, as well as communities in southern and central Huila resisting the Master Advantage Plan of the Magdalena River which would hand over the country´s largest and most important river in concession to the state-owned company HydroChina. In addition to the invasion of extractive industries to Huila, the regions large amount of coffee growers have been impacted by the falling price in coffee which has progressively gotten worse since the signing of the US free trade agreement. As a result, Huila and all of Colombia’s coffee growers have also started pressuring the Colombian State that has resulted injuries in recent days as coffee growers have had clashes with the riot police (ESMAD). Continue reading

Oil Spills and Global Trade… Yup, We Still Live in an Ecocidal Empire

15 Apr

Here are some reminders from this weekend in Florida, as if you needed more reminders…

Geologist Rip Kirby examined the skin of a graduate student who swam in the gulf and then showered. Under regular light, his skin seemed clean, but ultraviolet light revealed orange blotches — dispersant-mixed oil.

According to an article in St. Pete Times, scientists find that oil from Deepwater Horizon spill is still causing damage in the Gulf of Mexico 2 years later:

“Tiny globs of it, mingled with the chemical dispersant that was supposed to break it up, have settled into the shallows, mingling with the shells, he said. When Kirby shines his light across the legs of a grad student who’d been in the water and showered, it shows orange blotches where the globs still stick to his skin.

“If I had grandkids playing in the surf, I wouldn’t want them to come in contact with that,” said Kirby, whose research is being overseen by the University of South Florida. “The dispersant accelerates the absorption by the skin.”

As those blotches show, the gulf and its residents are still coping with the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which began with a fiery explosion aboard an offshore drilling rig on April 20, 2010.”

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A day earlier, the Florida paper reported on Obama’s visit to the Port of Tampa, one of the biggest ports in the country, where the president touted trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea and Panama that he signed into law, under his goal to double earth-killing exports by 2015.

The AP has reported that 12 Secret Service agents accompanying him in Colombia have been "relieved of duty" due to allegations of misconduct related to prostitution in Cartagena.

Here’s a bit from his 8-minute speech, en route to Colombia: “We are the most inventive country in the world. We’ve got the best entrepreneurs in the world… We’ve got the best infrastructure in the world, and we’re going to keep on at it and make sure that the 21st century is the American century, just like the 20th century.”

Ah, Obama’s family friendly eco-imperialism.. brings a tear to the eye.

U.S. President Barack Obama and his daughter Sasha swim at Alligator Point in Panama City Beach, Florida, August 14, 2010.
REUTERS/Pete Souza-The White House/Handout

In the Path of the Mining-Energy Locomotive–Resisting Colombia’s Quimbo Hydroelectric Project

9 Feb
By: Entre Aguas

While the tone of Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, is much more diplomatic than his predecessor, Alvaro Uribe, the state policies of militarizing territories to facilitate resource extraction under the guise of economic development and counter-insurgent security have not changed. The forced displacement of inhabitants that it spurred has also not abated.

Santos, the Minister of Defense under Uribe, assumed the presidency in August 2010. He kicked off his administration by naming four focus areas as the “locomotives” of his government´s economic development, one of these being mining-energy generation.

Already inhabiting the projected path of this “locomotive” are thousands of Campesino and Afro-descendent populations, over 100 distinct First Nations as well as some of planet Earth´s most scarce and vital sources of fresh water, cultivable land and endemic species.  In the wake of this locomotive´s “development” is a mass of open pit mines laden with toxic chemicals, hundreds of thousands of hectares of agro fuel plantations, and environmentally disastrous oil and gas extraction. The latter has created a web of pipelines that divide ecosystems and communities. Finally, there are the hydroelectric dams that create colossal reservoirs and kill rivers and the communities that rely on them.

Nationally, this collection of extraction projects is part of the prior government´s neoliberal Colombia 2025 project, which details the timeline for selling off the country piece by piece starting in the early 2000s through the end of the first quarter of the 21st century.  Internationally they are part of the continental mega infrastructure projects of Project Mesoamerica and the South American Regional Infrastructure Initiative (IIRSA). Continue reading