PBI-Canada webinar: Frontera Energy vs San Luis de Palenque, Colombia
On October 11, PBI-Canada and PBI-Colombia collaborated on a webinar featuring Ferney Salcedo and Yulivel Leal, criminalized social leaders from San Luis de Palenque, and Reymundo Velasquez from the Committee of Solidarity with Political Prisoners (CSPP) and Ninfa Cruz from the Social Corporation for Community Advice and Training (COSPACC).
The webinar, facilitated by Luis van Isschot, focused on the criminalization of social leaders by the Calgary-based oil company Frontera Energy.
Additional background on this can be read at PBI webinar with social leaders criminalized by Canadian oil company in Colombia, October 11.
To watch the webinar in original English/Spanish audio, click here.
Ferney Salcedo: “Frontera seeks to silence the voice of everyone who exercises leadership to claim the rights that correspond to the community.”
“We social leaders make complaints about environmental impacts, contaminated water, and every time we make complaints, we take a risk.”
Yulivel Leal: “On November 27, 2018, I was captured in my home, the judge ordered house arrest. I lived under the control of an electronic device for 22 months.”
“What you experience is frustration. We are from the countryside, they locked us up in a city between four walls, it affected my children psychologically.”
“The situation with Frontera Energy remains the same or worse than in 2018, they continue to violate the rights of communities and workers. The only thing that interests them is the oil that they take from the land, they do not try to recover the damages.”
Recently, thanks to PBI, COSPACC and the CSPP, we paid a visit to an oil spill directly into a water source, without the company having done anything. The only thing we need is to take care of the environment, take care of the water sources.”
Reymundo Vásquez: “At the time of the judicialization events, reserved cooperation agreements were signed, agreements that promoted that the military forces could provide security to the company’s facilities.”
“In Yopal, Casanare there were more than 15 agreements signed between Frontera and Ecopetrol, which committed not only the Public Force, but also the Prosecutor’s Office, to form structures that ensure the security of companies.”
Ninfa Cruz: “”The XVI Brigade is the one that has its battalions to take care of the oil wells in Casanare, for the communities there are no personnel, for the companies there is.”
“It is no secret that wherever oil exploitation was going to be carried out, the XVI Brigade arrived to accompany companies, while they seized peasants, murdered them, and made them pass as false positives, under the command of General Torres Escalante.”
“We peasants demand from companies for environmental damage. Those peasants who demand their rights to the territory are displaced, stigmatized, singled out or killed. And that extermination of those of us who defend the environment and territory continues.”
To watch the full webinar, click here.
This webinar is a follow-up to a PBI-Canada visit to San Luis de Palenque on July 1 where we met Ferney, Yulivel, Reymundo and Ninfa.