Earth Institute article says fracking a risk to peace in Colombia

Published by Brent Patterson on

Alexander Rustler’s article for the New York-based Earth Institute highlights that fracking risks the already precarious peace process in Colombia and that fracking the Amazon would have a global impact felt far beyond Colombia’s borders.

Rustler, a researcher at the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, writes, “Communities, impoverished and neglected by decades of conflict, are faced with an influx of heavy machinery, expropriation and looming environmental destruction.”

He further cautions, “Fracking’s expansion risks aggravating tensions, potentially causing demonstrations against oil and gas drilling to metamorphose into violent clashes between communities and companies.”

“The first fracking projects are intended to be carried out in Magdalena Medio, a region in the North of the country that was among the hardest hit by conflict.”

Rustler also notes, “The opportune combination of higher security in remote regions and the expected depletion of conventional oil reserves has led to the breakthrough that will bring fracking to the Amazon. The Amazon Basin is an ecological resource of global importance; fracking’s influence will be felt far beyond Colombia’s borders.”

Indigenous opposition

Contagio Radio has reported that representatives of seven Indigenous communities gathered in Mocoa, Colombia on October 6 to read their manifesto in defence of the Amazon rainforest that included the call “not to implement fracking.”

The National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) is also opposed to fracking.

The latest from Colombia

On September 25, Reuters reported that “Colombia’s state-run oil company Ecopetrol will be ready to start fracking pilot projects in the second half of 2020.”

On October 2, Valora reported that the president of the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) says regulations for fracking would be ready before the end of 2019.

And on October 9, Caracol reported that a member of the Commission of Experts for Fracking says that conditions still need to be met for the pilot projects to proceed and that “in order to meet these conditions it will take at least one year.”

Speaking tour in Canada

Julia Figueroa and Andrea Nocove from the Luis Carlos Perez Lawyers’ Collective (CCALCP) and Ivan Madero from the Regional Corporation for the Defence of Human Rights (CREDHOS) will be visiting Canada this November.

They will highlight their concerns about fracking and extractivism, climate breakdown, water pollution and violations of Indigenous rights.

Their public forums include:

OTTAWA – Monday November 4, 6:30 pm, Amnesty International building, 312 Laurier Avenue East

VANCOUVER – Wednesday November 6, 7 pm, SFU Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue, 580 West Hastings Street

NANAIMO – Friday November 8, 2 pm, Vancouver Island University, 900 Fifth Street

Along with these three public forums, Julia, Andrea and Ivan will be meeting with civil society allies in Toronto, government officials in Ottawa, as well as students, lawyers and activists at information/strategy meetings across the country.

For more information, please contact us at info@pbicanada.org

Categories: News Updates

2 Comments

Colombian energy minister says Canadian company interested in fracking – Peace Brigades International-Canada · October 16, 2019 at 11:23 pm

[…] Environmentalists have called for a global ban on fracking given it “torpedoes our global efforts to tackle climate change and violates basic human rights.” Moreover, a researcher with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment has highlighted concerns that fracking could endanger the fragile peace process in Colombia. […]

Ecopetrol CEO confirms fracking to begin in Colombia in 2020 – Peace Brigades International-Canada · October 19, 2019 at 11:42 pm

[…] Environmentalists have called for a global ban on fracking given it “torpedoes our global efforts to tackle climate change and violates basic human rights.” Moreover, a researcher with the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment has highlighted concerns that fracking could endanger the fragile peace process in Colombia. […]

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