There are already eight communities in Colombian municipalities which have protested with a resounding No, through public consultations, praised by the law and National Constitution of Colombia, against free reign mega-mining and oil exploitation.
John Elvis Vera Suarez
In no less than 16 municipalities, scattered throughout the country, there are processes seeking to express themselves in the same way as those 8, vis a vis the “Locomotora Minero-energética”. The number is growing. San Vicente, San Martín, El Carmen, Yopal, Agua Azul, Paz de Ariporo, Monterrey, Uribe, Guamal, Villa Hermosa, Ortega, Íquira, Paujil, Morelia, Valparaíso, Montañita.
In another 12 municipalities, the Municipal Councils through Accords have marched against these activities, which they consider a great threat that will destroy their territory, their towns, and their communities.
These are Támesis, Jericó, San Agustín, Acevedo, El Agrado, Tarqui, Pitalito, Oporapa, Altamira, Elías, Timaná, Doncello
The guilds that represent the multinational gas and mining companies’ interests together with their representatives in government are intensifying a campaign that feigns ignorance to the decision of the “Constituyente Primario”.
First of all, some of these courtiers, showing off and boasting because of their governmental and public position have announced through the use of mass media their repudiation of the results of the public consultations.
Now, their latest threat is to raise taxes if we don’t support them so that the big companies, primarily multi-nationals, can continue destroying our territories and continue receiving juicy tips for serving as messengers and lobbyists.
Thanks to an alliance between the Colombian government (its representatives from the mining industry) and the private sector, dedicated to the aforementioned economic line, they are already conspiring to change legislation to overturn the power of the consultations.
Many of us have asserted that stopping the internal armed conflict (the peace process we strongly support) doesn’t necessarily imply that the social confrontations will disappear.
What’s more, with this imposed economic model seeking to continue moving forward and overwhelming our territories, the socio-environmental conflicts will deepen and extend to all corners of Colombia.
Every day, more sections of society express themselves against the destruction of our lands, our rivers, our mountains and our landscapes.
The central government insists on putting in the hands of the great destructive mining machine, the vast Columbian expanse.
While a large part of the food Colombians consume is imported, thanks to Free Trade Agreements, small and medium sized producers become poorer and see how their communities are being engulfed by the monoculture of agriculture exporters and the lands of new mining companies.
And let’s have no illusions with so called small and artisanal mining. It goes hand in hand with the release of mercury and/or cyanide, contaminating our rivers, causing the extinction of traditional fish and serious damage to human health.
Photos: Pixabay – (Translated by Inez Cifuentes)