More About Colombia
Colombia's indigenous peoples continue to face grave threats in the era of the country's new President Juan Manual Santos. The struggle to control Colombia's lucrative natural resources has helped spur the country's decades-long civil war and is a central consideration of U.S. foreign policy for the region. More
What we can learn from the U'wa and Achuar Victories in 2015October 15, 2015
In 2015, several indigenous peoples announced important advances in their decades-long struggles to defend their sacred homelands. The Achuar people of the Northern Peruvian Amazon and the U'wa people of the Colombian cloud forest both embody the power of grassroots resistance in the face of multi-billion dollar corporations.
What becomes of places like the Amazon Basin that don't have major oil reserves, but are vital for the regulation of the earth's climate, house 20% of the planet's fresh water, and one in ten of the world's known species?
We are deeply appreciative for the honor of collaborating with indigenous peoples, organizations, and activists, from around the Amazon rainforest and elsewhere. It is extraordinary to find common cause in high-stakes human dramas that, we believe, will help shape the future of the entire planet.
On one side of the table a group embodying integrity, legitimacy, humility. Across from them on the other? The personification of cynicism, obfuscation and arrogance. That was the scene in Bogotá yesterday where the U’wa people took their fight into a meeting with the Colombian government, calling on it to live up to previously negotiated agreements.
The U'wa are an extraordinary people, paralleled by the amazing territory they call home. With this photo gallery – featuring images taken by the U'wa themselves – we hope to take you on a visual journey into the majestic lands they are defending. Not only are these breathtaking landscapes, each of these places holds a profound spiritual and cultural significance to the U'wa.
State company Ecopetrol pulls out of drilling site in territories belonging to the indigenous U’wa peopleMarch 26, 2015The Guardian
The indigenous U'wa people living in north-east Colombia have won what observers call an "historic" and "decisive" victory after state oil and gas company Ecopetrol dismantled a gas drilling site in their territories.
The Achuar and U'wa indigenous peoples have me in awe of the immense power of grassroots resistance in the face of multi-billion dollar corporations. Years after graduating from university, I find myself once again a student. Throughout my tenure at Amazon Watch, I have been honored to "informally apprentice" under our wise and humble indigenous partners.
I live in a country which spends a third of my tax dollars on the military, so I do not know actually how peace is found. So say that you wanted peace. How would that work out?
"The U'wa people would like to inform national and international public opinion that the Magallanes gas exploration block has been completely dismantled. Ecopetrol has removed all the machinery that had been found there in a demonstration of respect for our rights as an indigenous people."
Gas company wants to drill on indigenous people's ancestral territory in ColombiaJune 17, 2014The Guardian
"The U'wa have watched as their oil-rich neighboring territories have become centers of human rights abuses - perpetrated mostly by pro-government paramilitaries. To anyone who is watching, and particularly to the U'wa, the message is clear: Oil equals violence."