Court ruling suspends the environmental license for Kalé and Platero fracking projects in Colombia

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo: Yuvelis Morales, Carolina Agón.

El Espectador reports: “The first oral administrative court of the judicial circuit of Barrancabermeja ruled this April 21 on a guardianship in which it orders to protect the fundamental right to prior consultation of the Afro-Colombian Corporation of Puerto Wilches [Afrowilches].”

“[The court] orders the suspension of the environmental license of the pilot projects of fracking known as Kalé, granted at the end of last March through resolution No. 00648 of the National Environmental Licensing Authority (ANLA), and Platero, until the process of prior consultation with the aforementioned corporation is developed in all its stages.”

The article adds: “The protection was filed by the Afrowilches Corporation, represented by the Podion Corporation, the José Alvear Restrepo Collective [CCAJAR] and the Alliance for a Colombia Free of Fracking.”

The Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project accompanies CCAJAR legal collective.

Further reading: PBI-Colombia accompanied CCAJAR lawyers collective files court action against Kalé and Platero fracking pilot projects (April 1, 2022)

Canadian corporations backing the pilot projects

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. has also commented that both pilots are “positive steps towards realizing the commercial potential of the unconventional shale oil field in Colombia.”

And Toronto-based Scotiabank has helped finance Ecopetrol, the state oil company that will be operating the pilot projects.

Webinar with environmental defenders, May 8

Commenting on the court’s ruling, the Alliance says: “In a context of serious threats and harassment against environmental defenders who oppose fracking, we are concerned about the life and integrity of the members of Afrowilches.”

We share that concern.

On May 8, we will have a webinar with Afro-Colombian environmental defender Yuvelis Morales, along with Carolina Agón (who has experienced a series of recent threats) and Oil Change International researcher Bronwen Tucker.

On a PBI-Canada organized webinar in April 2021, Morales stated: “When we became a problem for the oil companies, those interested in promoting fracking and its economic benefits, they started to threaten, stigmatize, and silence us.”

To register for this webinar, please click here.

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