Colombian Community Paints A Mural Expressing Resistance to El Quimbo Dam

Mural in the Colombian community of La Jagua, protesting El Quimbo Dam

“The Colombian community of La Jagua, now threatened by the El Quimbo Dam, recently painted a series of murals depicting their opposition to the project and their hopes for a better future. We talked to a Colombian member of the group Entre Aguas, which helped coordinate the project.

The mural was an initiative of young people and children from the community of La Jagua, who care about the future of their territory. More than 50 people aged 6-30 years participated in the project. The purpose of the mural was to create a space where young people impacted by construction of El Quimbo could express themselves and paint the future they want for their country. The site chosen for the mural is a 200-year-old adobe wall, which is part of La Jagua Educational Institute. A local committee repaired and painted the wall in preparation.

Mural in the Colombian community of La Jagua, protesting El Quimbo Dam (kids painting)Right now, this is a territory without dams. The community’s main argument against El Quimbo is the imposition of a megaproject without consultation of impacted communities. This project is destroying the social fabric of communities, regional economies, food sovereignty and the environment.

The Beehive Design Collective, through their Pollination Project, has helped the community of La Jagua since 2008 in their opposition against El Quimbo Hydroelectric Project. The mural was initiated by the Pollination Project, the Jaguos for Territory Collective, and Urban Artist Gouache.”

Source: http://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/colombian-community-paints-an-anti-dam-message-8164

Colombian paramilitaries murder farmers and union leaders to silence community resistance

“In Colombia the 21 day national strike, which enjoyed broad support, was a victory for the farmers movement, after 12 deaths, 4 disappearances, and 485 injured, according to official numbers; they got a law to control seeds suspended, along with subsidies to gas and supplies, to compensate the farmers for their losses, competing with international multinationals brought in the country by free market treaties.

The government and the strike board are currently negotiating new farming and mining laws, along with a revision of 10 free market treaties, trying to compensate or reduce the losses of farmers and miners; in the cities, while the solidarity with the farmers was the spark for the protests the privatization of health care and education brought even more people to the streets.

Facing police repression, and despite the threat of paramilitary violence they got a political victory, paralyzing the country while president Santos saw his popularity fall to an all time low of 24%, which forced him to negotiate.

But even after such demonstration for farmers to oppose mining and oil projects can be a very dangerous activity in this country, Julio farmer and human rights defender from Guayabero, has received dead threats, he believes not only him but everyone else in town is also in danger […]”