CREDHOS accompanies the struggle for life and water in Puerto Wilches against the Kalé fracking project

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo by CREDHOS.

On April 11, CREDHOS tweeted: “Now. The community of the Puente Sogamoso Corregimiento of the Municipality of Puerto Wilches makes a peaceful sit-in, rejecting the implementation of the fracking pilot project Kalé. CREDHOS accompanying the just struggles of the communities in defence of water and life.”

On April 12, Enlace Television also reported: “In the municipality of Puerto Wilches a sit-in will be held for the defense of water in the territory. Óscar Sampayo, member of social movements in the Magdalena Medio, has invited you to participate in this event. He stressed that today a mobilization is being carried out in Puente Sogamoso as an advance of the social protests that are developing in the territory. Today they invite the different social movements that start for the defense of water in the Middle Magdalena.”

Kale and Platero fracking projects

The National Hydrocarbons Agency (ANH) has awarded two fracking pilot projects near Puerto Wilches in the Magdalena Medio region of Colombia.

The ANH awarded the Kalé project to Ecopetrol on November 25, 2020, and the Platero project to ExxonMobil on June 4, 2021.

Then on March 25, 2022, the National Environmental Licensing Authority (ANLA) granted Kalé an environmental license.

The licensing process for Platero is still underway.

CCAJAR legal challenge

On March 31, the José Alvear Restrepo Lawyers’ Collective (CCAJAR) and Corporación Podion filed a court challenge on behalf of Afrowilches against ANLA, Ecopetrol and the Ministry of the Interior for violating the right to prior, free and informed consultation of the Afro-Colombian Corporation of Puerto Wilches – Afrowilches.

It seeks to suspend the environmental license granted to Kalé by ANLA as well as the approval process for Platero.

Canada and fracking in Colombia

Toronto-based Sintana Energy Inc. has highlighted that it “holds an undivided 30% non-operated participation interest in a Contract for Exploration and Production for Block VMM-37” where the Platero project would be conducted.

Calgary-based Canacol Energy Ltd., which holds two nearby “unconventional shale oil blocks”, has also commented that the Platero and Kalé projects are “positive steps towards realizing the commercial potential of the unconventional shale oil field in Colombia.”

The recent Banking on Climate Chaos report also notes that Toronto-based Scotiabank has provided millions of dollars in financing to Ecopetrol as well as Calgary-based Parex Resources, another company reportedly interested in fracking.

Webinar, May 8

Peace Brigades International-Canada is organizing a webinar on Sunday May 8 at 2:30 pm EDT to help build an understanding of what is happening in Puerto Wilches.

It will feature Carolina Agón (the vice president of the Federation of Fishermen of Puerto Wilches and a member of CREDHOS) and Yuvelis Morales (of Aguawil which is accompanied by CREDHOS). Both women have been threatened and displaced due to their activism against fracking in Puerto Wilches.

The webinar will also feature Bronwen Tucker (Edmonton-based Global Public Finance Campaign Co-Manager with Oil Change International). She will help us to understanding the Canadian corporate connections to fracking in Colombia.

To register for this webinar, please click here.

Carolina Agón, Yuvelis Morales, Bronwen Tucker.

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