Colombia’s highest administrative court could rule on commercial fracking on May 13

Published by Brent Patterson on

Today, Thursday May 6, is the ninth day of National Strike protests in Colombia. Multiple news platforms have reported that one of the issues that has people on the streets is their opposition to the fracking pilot projects.

Agence France-Presse reports: “Tens of thousands of Colombians have taken to the streets in demonstrations against a proposed tax reform but have since morphed into broader protest against the government of President Ivan Duque.”

France 24 explains the broader context of the protests: “Aboriginal communities and citizens in general, such as young university students, demonstrate against a project on health reform, demand compliance with what was agreed in the 2016 peace agreement, reject militarization policies, and maintain their stance against fracking and glyphosate spraying, which the Government seeks to resume.”

Now, it appears that a ruling from the Council of State may be imminent that would impact the two fracking pilot projects that have been authorized by the Colombian National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH): ExxonMobil’s Platero and Ecopetrol’s Kale field.

Bnamericas reports: “The development of the fields, however, hinges on Colombia’s highest administrative tribunal, the council of state, which is expected to decide whether to allow hydraulic fracking on a commercial scale by July.”

RCN Radio has also reported: “The Council of State reached a commitment that on May 13, the presentation of magistrate Ramiro Pazos on the demand that asks to annul the regulations of the Ministry of Mines and Energy, which gave life to fracking, will be voted.”

That article adds: “If eventually no decision is made on that date, the case will probably go to another speaker, given that Judge Ramiro Pazos, who is currently handling the case, ends his term in the corporation on June 20. …There is also the scenario that on May 13 a majority is not reached and the magistrates have to go to a judge to make the decision.”

PBI recently convened this webinar in which environmental defenders from CREDHOS, CRY-GEAM, FEDEPESAN and AguaWil expressed their profound concerns about the environmental and human rights implications of fracking.

We have also produced this summary of the webinar: Key excerpts from PBI convened webinar on fracking and extractivism in Magdalena Medio, Colombia.

Categories: News Updates


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