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12 de diciembre de 2014 | | | | |

Interview with Isabel Zureta of Rios Vivos Colombia: new eviction threats against the people resisting hydroelectric dams

The member of the Rios Vivos Movement of Colombia is in Lima, Peru, as part of the organization´s delegation to the People´s Summit in favor of Climate Justice taking place in parallel to the inter-governmental negotiations on climate change. She denounced the new eviction threats against communities that are resisting in their country the privatization of rivers through hydroelectric projects.

Jose Elosegui of Real World Radio interviewed Izabel Zureta, about the threat faced by the community located in La Arenera, Toledo municipality, on the Cauca River, which is dedicated to “gold farming” by separating it from the sand and that on Wednesday, December 10, was being threatened with eviction, according to the authorities.

This is taking place in Antioquia and Hidroituango is the main hydroelectric project of Colombia. The transnational hydropower megaproejcts have been exposed by the social movements of the world as one of the false solutions to the global climate crisis, due to their emissions and the impacts on the displaced communities.

The displacement of the community entails the destruction of their livelihoods, i.e. the extraction and separation of gold through traditional methods.

In this case, it is not an eviction in the framework of protests by the community, but “the company gives the order to evict them because we are disturbing their work schedule”, said Isabel during the interview.

And she highlighted how preposterous it is that this eviction is taking place on Human Rights Day. Isabel reproduced the information that she is receiving from the territory indicating the massive arrival of heavily armed security forces of the company. They come dressed for war, and in several cases by air since there are no land routes, threatening the population.

Over 40 massacres took place in Cañón del Río Cauca, said Isabel , many of which coincide with key moments of the building of the megadam.

An atmosphere of war is breathed in each case, with guns, gases and also documents: the communities receive eviction notices, but they can´t read them or interpret them and do not have legal advising.

Zureta reported that the children have already been evicted to a refuge in Ituango municipality, while a HRs Commission is travelling to the site to take stock of the families´ belongings, since in previous evictions the few resources of the communites were stolen.

The situation of forced displacements against the communities in resistance in Colombia has been raised in 2014 and 2013 before the Inter American Commission on Human Rights in Washington.

Isabel highlighted that the cases of community rights violations, murder of activists and the disappearance of journalists rise in December, when the people is focused on “other things”.

More information: http://defensaterritorios.wordpress.com/

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