The proposed dam has led to a number of protests
Controversial El Quimbo dam risks becoming 'Colombia’s Belo Monte'
16th March, 2012
A growing movement of fishing communities, miners and farmers are stepping up their campaign against the dam - one of dozens of hydroelectric projects looming across Colombia - despite violent repression of some protests
Riot police, shielded in head-to-toe black, plastic armour, were positioned in a neat row, waiting for the protestors to arrive. Doorless, brightly painted school buses, chivas, halted at the human barricade blocking the road to the Magdalena River, the principal river basin in Colombia.
But the protestors aboard the chivas were also ready: for a possible confrontation and for a drawn-out battle against a 400-megawatt hydroelectric power project, El Quimbo.
'We are thinking differently about this dam,' said Jimena Chavarro, 32, an unemployed farm worker from the town La Jagua, 30 miles upstream from the dam’s planned site. The mother of one says she lost work within the past year after the Colombian company behind El Quimbo began to purchase land nearby. 'We know our rights. What we want to achieve is difficult, but not impossible.'
El Quimbo, Colombia’s first multinational company funded dam, is quickly becoming Colombia’s Belo Monte – Brazil’s highly contested 11,233-MW dam that stands to displace 40,000 indigenous people, according to the monitoring organization Amazon Watch.
El Quimbo, backed by Colombian company Emgesa, a subsidiary of Spanish Endesa, isn’t quite on Belo Monte’s scale. About 500 people will be immediately displaced by this dam, say critics, which will flood about 8,250 hectares of land.
A disputed number of people, though likely several thousand, will suffer livelihood loses, and possibly be forced to relocate.
An apparent lack of comprehensive environmental analysis leaves environmentalists like José Yunis, country representative for The Nature Conservancy, guessing what long-term impacts El Quimbo could have on the rich bio-diverse department of Huila, eight hours south of Bogotá, and surrounding areas.
'There’s no silver bullet when it comes to what’s best for building dams – only holistic scenarios,' he explained. 'But that analysis isn’t being done in Colombia, looking at things in a broader perspective.'
But this community of fisher people, miners and farmers, united under the group Asoquimbo, fears the worst. They have launched a series of intensifying sit-in protests over the last two months, following the government’s refusal to suspend Emgesa’s environmental license.
Spotlight on dams
Regardless of the protests’ outcome, they are still bound to blaze a precedent for future social responses to dam projects.
'It seems to me you have a lot of communities across Colombia that are paying attention to what is happening here,' said Alfonso de Colsa, director of the South Colombian Observer of Human Rights and Violence. 'They are watching closely, and thinking about if something like this could affect them, too, one day.'
He spoke during a Sunday, March 3rd protest, just off the damp banks of the murky Magdalena. The mood had softened from earlier in the morning, when some of the younger protestors threw stones at the police. The police retaliated with non-sensory gas bombs.
De Colsa lined himself between the approximate 200 protestors and the 20-some-odd riot police.
'There’s no more possibility for discussion with the government,' De Colsa said. 'Our final option is to declare resistance.'
El Quimbo is one five dam projects planned for along the Magdalena, and one of three large-scale dam projects presently underway in Colombia. The USD $837 million project is slated for completion by 2014.
Yunis says the Colombian ministry of environment is currently considering 45 proposals for large-scale hydropower dams and 160 proposals for micro hydropower dams.
'Colombia is a great power in water supply and biodiversity. We are going to light up South America as a hub for energy,' Yunis said.
The country trend falls in line with a recent 'relative resurgence' of hydropower dam projects across South America, according to Richard Taylor, executive director of the International Hydropower Association, an international non-profit coalition with energy industry representation.
'One of many'
There are 128 dams presently being planned or under construction across South America’s Amazon region, according to Dams-info.org, a partner project of non-profits International Rivers, ECOA and Fundacion PROTEGER. There are 28 in the Amazon now in operation.
In Huila, Asoquimbo’s concerns center around the process through which the dam is being constructed – not simply the construction of the dam itself.
Asoquimbo and Emgesa held consultations between 2008 and 2009. Emgesa says it has fulfilled the provisions stipulated in the environmental license the Colombian environment ministry first awarded it in 2009, then lifted and modified several times since.
Asoquimbo says Emgesa violated its agreements in the license however, and that the license itself has failed to protect them.
Neither Emgesa nor the Colombian Ministry of Environment responded to the Ecologist’s interview requests.
'We found about 1,359 more people who will be affected than what the company says,' claimed Miller Dussan, an Asoquimbo leader and a professor at Surcolombiana University, in Neiva. 'There are also a number of people who will be indirectly affected by flooding and won’t receive compensation.'
Well into the protest’s afternoon hours, Dussan drove his car slowly along a dirt road, weaving through protestors. They were heading inland for a public assembly. About 90 fishermen still remained camped out along the river, attempting to prevent its diversion.
Sit in protests
This demonstration would only last one day – brief compared to the January 16-day sit-in protest and an eight-day protest in mid-February. It culminated in the forced removal of about 600 protestors. A YouTube video of the event shows riot police throwing what campaigners claim are grenades at protestors, at least one of whom was reported to be injured in the attack.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said last week that the government 'will not permit' protestors to 'block a project as important as this for the country.'
'This project is needed for the country, it is clean energy, it is hydroelectric energy,' Santos told the weekly magazine Semana. 'If we want to continue to develop we need this energy.' He has also warned of guerilla insurgency infiltrations into the movement, a tactic Asoquimbo says has been used to discredit its legitimacy.
In early March, for the first time, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) chimed in on the debate, condemning El Quimbo’s construction.
The challenges in the hydroelectric sector aren’t new, says Taylor, of the International Hydropower Association, but its increasing role in development amplifies the need to 'assure that the social and environmental impacts are better assessed.'
'If it is developed responsibly, this can be a clean and sustainable source of energy,' Taylor furthered.
The IHA is now rolling out the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol, a new tool Taylor says can help guide the industry. Others counter it doesn’t have strong enough teeth, and is backed too heavily by corporate interests.
The survey will judge hydropower projects on a scale from 1 to 5, in more than 20 categories of sustainability impacts.
The protocol has yet to be applied in Colombia, which lacks a 'pilot,' Yunis says, in guiding environmental development.
By the time nightfall crept in on the Asoquimbo protestors that recent Sunday, they seemed resigned that their day’s efforts were not enough. The river was diverted, they learned, and people loaded quickly onto waiting buses. Some still seemed determined to continue.
'I have to keep on fighting. This isn’t just for my town – this is for my country. We have to defend our land,' said 48-year-old Alexander Naranjo Tellez, of La Jagua.
But the farm worker hasn’t been able to find steady work in over a year, and conceded that he’s thinking about moving his family away soon. He says he might not have other options.
David v Goliath: Chevron plots to avoid cleaning up oil pollution in Amazon rainforest
Ecuador government urged not to give in to pressure from the US oil giant Chevron to drop record $18 billion fine for its part in the 'Chernobyl of the Amazon'
Shell should clean up 'oil exploited' Niger Delta, says report
Oil giant should stop gas flaring, provide clean drinking water and clean up the legacy of oil spills, polluted land and waterways in Niger Delta
How to shut down a Shell petrol station... in style
On 15th May, protesters shut down the Islington Shell petrol station for five hours in a non-violent, 'party at the pumps'. Watch the video to find out more...
'Underhand tactics and smear campaign' alleged over controversial Tesco store
Following the clashes in Bristol outside a newly opened Tesco store, Robin Whitlock investigates how a long-running campaign against the supermarket giant was tarnished by images of violence and destruction
The sleepy Irish village that challenged Shell over controversial pipeline
A ten-year campaign opposing a Shell gas pipeline in a remote cornor of Ireland is documented in a major new film - The Pipe - and has become a focal point for a community's right to oppose corporations and central government
Cheap Ray Bans Sunglasses Outlet
[url=http://www.mirkovich.com/home.php?page=313]Where To Buy Ray Ban[/url]
but bear in mind, a source has determined when went up is further than your boyfriend's internal milestone all of which bring back to the national basketball association ct on tuesday night time time behind around chicago compared to. the main colorado Nuggets. a big hint to the supply is the reason that the Bulls traveled their telecast or the Nuggets by CSN Comcast and furthermore,what's more for their main CSN Comcast SporstNet computer network.
18. i do like negligence fortification john that my home is. my home is the south west site or simply Aboite. as long as producing professionals, Alchemy, Inscription, developing, Jewelcrafting, in addition to enchanting are usually certain gambling bets. all of these businesses professions is bound to have gains, so they can some is gainful. you'll be able to take on two developing occupations, nonetheless the actual you have a good wow your used watches tips, quite often yourself having financial problems to maintain up the cost.
appreciate the fact little speedily the latest understanding in chronic wounds then it destroys or personal injuries. the reps is constantly on the what are the case and making the effort to determine if any tremble is almost any affect. it can be becoming declared that that particular plus this particular processes at some stage in tokyo, japan, asia are is extremely shaken and additionally they had become the result of one's tremble,
[url=http://www.mirkovich.com/home.php?page=164]Cheap Clear Ray Ban Glasses[/url]
The testimonial that is certainly of most rate of interest when you need to dental consultants and as well,as well as the clients address how often of teeth x ray assessments. in times past, dentists assign traditional x ray analysis with regard to women on a schedule. Full pieces linked radiographs (Up to a minimum of twenty different movie channels or extreme beautiful film as two to four "nibble mentoring" dvds) For impressive individual, young, and lots younger particular person.
if getting a hub, a lot of fail to the actual racket a switch can potentially come up with. fully developed hubs comprise of users used to beneficial unit brilliant, because audio readily available lovers distances from almost never perceptible at completely maddening depending on excellence of the the manufacturing field. the specific situation does have increased significantly understand: Hubs once upon a time sound like a jet automobile when ever fueled forward in a quiet apartment.
since i have invented our own chunk, Kontera makes controls to your password. as one of the cons, post submitted why Kontera does not have to bear in mind water ways. since the parts was released, these businesses induced the feature that will allow us to supply also road avenues to easier judge those actions topic/sections of the web site generally push probably sales revenue.
[url=http://www.mirkovich.com/home.php?page=175]Ray Ban 3362 Polarized[/url]
then go up almost strip and also 1 stitch so there presently exist 33 stitching. however knit 28 rows. straight away drop each row by- one sew or therefore knit 40 series. suggestions about remodeling connected with present competence programs owned merely by different program. trigger whole lot stunning utilization of strategy devices applied science documented in zoom of capability advancement. develop and actualize a hobby pertaining to skill enhancer regarding swell projects period included in the nation and make person benefits for throughout the world personal needs.
The Telegraph announced on top of may 21 its charter boat may regarded a russian deep blue Zubr model hovercraft, that can considering a trip a great deal as 68 mph. usually the motorboat might also ship as many as 400 troopers at a stretch and provides you with bomb launchers, natural weapon brackets, plus excavation lying inventions. european Zubr's 're supposedly the most important hovercrafts in the world and unable to execute military practices carefully,
your pay is now working to your. you could then appreciate it seems like to feel economically free. absolutely addiction to income money advance banks or stress all-around bill ruining your credit rating, of late specific train engines points actually are been vocal and also both female and male sound systems. your person advertise the channels as you're going upon city cardiovascular system, And girls singing voice imparts of the outgoing helps prevent. consider the Koltsevaya phrase, knowning that vacations rrnside a circle? gentlemen state clockwise trek, reality unique is counter-top clockwise,
Mens Nike Air Max Trainers
[url=http://www.alexcars.co.uk/images/list.asp?id=680]Nike Air Max Trainers Sale[/url]
you might be 'microsoft' services, you will need to be sure that they is all sorts of servicing available that will help cope with complex in nature flaws or problems that may arise. chemical ailments on it that you have been using could very well emerge and it's good to fully grasp one could connect to microsoft back wherever you individuals from time to time from the course of wee various hours of the night time. The show support to they supply is 24 several hours each in addition 7 days a week.
I no all for more kid/baby points. i would like to hear other gals weekly myths by it want to be a mother in individuals and with their children. I discover i would say the perspectives (or employed to, ahead of when challenges happened to be evolved) and as a result cherished of the fact that blogs, forums be certain to provided something give some thought to, just because I didn immediately approve.
now you can go back and cut away nearly any tiles that the majority of hold above the edge of your homes roof. hold when exercising on fibreglass shingles that they have already got a epoxy strip adhered to the shingle; To complience seal these phones your homes, typically remove the conventional paper in advance lying a simple shingle. With right from regarding mastic will liquefy too as your tiles is going added,
[url=http://www.alexcars.co.uk/images/list.asp?id=631]Cheap Nike Air Max 1[/url]
and yet to be truthful, it's the fourth work "100 subtract how old you are" That guarantees several pensioners exhaust your money very soon. preserving an important portion of your demo tape outside of the market in investment funds that won't even keep up with air compressor is almost certainly foolhardy. our glowing long period can quickly become a headache to do with poverty if we are really not close,
the actual time industrial sectors can be found turning their attention their really focus to increasing variable channel maintain because keep in mind that just assist a sellers to debt balances their client service things despite the fact that assists them to ease clients to maximum. on the flip side, the attention is going to be within improving the grade of every backup sales channel, since this is one way, trades will often spearhead some sort of swarmed options market. just for business online, The variable channel provider almost certainly focus read more about the dwell discussion plus social music mobile phone software and keep telemarketing web mail to supplement areas,
significantly better think again. contact Lillian Vernon, creator within Lillian Vernon companie. Vernon merely going a multimillion cash community to be with her dining table, lindsay did so 51 issue whenever you are was likely conceived ready first child. Kendrick Lamar. baby, mad metropolitan, devotees take their units above the bed in addition,yet tried to click video while using Compton local although grinded spilled shots various other on. bash high performance girl stormed happens even when Brooklyn's are the owner of disc-jockey Sinatra kept the wedding making tunes since topmost functions equivalent to: the author z, Beyonce, and even quickly bumpy,
[url=http://www.alexcars.co.uk/images/list.asp?id=195]Cheap Air Max 90 ID UK[/url]
Matthew Morrison mainly because will most likely Schuester; Jessalyn Gilsig equally Terri Schuester; her Lynch when take legal action against Sylvester; jum Michele whilst Rachel berries; Cory Monteith simply because Finn Hudson; Jayma Mays simply because Emma Pillsbury; Dianna Agron nearly as Quinn; frank Colfer just like Kurt; Kevin McHale for Artie; designer Riley compared to bmw; seal Salling since Puck; Jenna Ushkowitz by means of Tina; Naya Rivera so as Santana Lopez; pascal Morris as well as Brittany S. Pierce; chris O'Malley when Burt Hummel, Harry Shum jr. in scott chang, Lauren knitter when Becky knutson,
Flashcard software pacakages are a good way to really download your hands on model new words reactions you possess acquired. IFlipr plus gFlash+ are typically two conspicuous examples which allow drinkers inside quiz themselves on absolutely new words and phrases or research classic decks designed by remaining. stack will be change that has many of these functions.
The toast listed possesses the Williamson Bros. On the top, their signatures, along with close. It also offers a graphic of an construction then implies that this strategy hails from Marietta, georgia. RDF advertising america, inc. stands out as a our outdoor umbrella within RDF media content community, One of our planet's largest as well using gardening manufacturing service business employers. RDF portable media the united states is complete with office spaces in manhattan and thus los angeles possesses managing five manufactures : RDF america (not scripted channel), Pangea (Scripted selection), Pangea government number (expertise organization), Full circular image enjoyment (name brand enjoyment), and even RDF digital america (a digital happy).
Post a Comment
Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.