PBI-Colombia accompanied CREDHOS speaks on fracking and water at UN Human Rights Council virtual event

Published by Brent Patterson on

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UPDATE: The video of this webinar is now available here.

Our article written prior to the webinar:

On March 4, the International Human Rights Network (RIDH) and Peace Brigades International (PBI) will host a virtual side event on the water crisis in Colombia during the 46th session of the Human Rights Council.

The Zoom webinar registration page notes: “In the most dangerous country in the world to carry out environmental work, civil society organizations and communities expose specific cases and tell us about their daily work in the face of the threats and dangers involved in protecting their territories and water resources.”

Hector David Suarez of CREDHOS and the Alliance for a Colombia Free of Fracking will speak about the fracking pilot project in the Magdalena Medio region.

The first licence for a fracking pilot project was awarded by the National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) to Ecopetrol on November 25, 2020 for its Kalé project near the community of Puerto Wilches in the Magdalena Medio region.

In November 2020, eighteen social leaders in the Middle Magdalena were threatened with death through a pamphlet signed by the Black Eagles paramilitary. Six of those threatened are members of the Alliance for a Colombia Free of Fracking.

On March 1, Alfredo Molano Jimeno wrote in El Espectador about the threats faced by opponents of fracking in the Magdalena Medio including Yuli Velasquez and Luis Alberto González.

His article also highlighted the threat against Yuvelis Natalia Morales, a member of the Committee for the Defence of Water, Life and Territory of Puerto Wilches (AguaWil).

Yuvelis says: “One night when I was with my sister, two men came into my house and told me to stop fucking around, that I was very alone, and they could kill me any day.”

She made a report to the police and army, but they offered no protection, so this 20-year-old is now displaced from her home and in hiding.

Canada plays a role in this situation.

BNAmericas has reported that four companies have prequalified for a second round of licensing for fracking pilot projects in Colombia: ExxonMobil (in partnership with Toronto-based Sintana Energy), Ecopetrol, Drummond, and Tecpetrol.

The ExxonMobil/Sintana Energy fracking pilot project would also be located in Puerto Wilches in the Magdalena Medio region.

The second round of fracking pilot project contracts are expected to be awarded on March 30.

To hear Hector David Suarez of CREDHOS speak, you can either register for the webinar or watch live via the RIDH Facebook page.

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