More About Ecopetrol
How the Goldman Prize Bolstered the U'wa Struggle for Territorial RightsFebruary 17, 2017
If UNESCO designated people as World Heritage sites, Berito Kuwaru'wa would be a leading candidate. On one hand, he personifies the beautiful and poetic U'wa view of the world, deeply connected to the original laws of nature. On the other, he is a unique and visionary human being, with an innate charisma through which he has bridged cultures and inspired global support for the U'wa struggle.
Peace is more than the silencing of guns, and that the peace accord will not address all sources of violence in the conflict. To that end, we share with you this guest blog from Bogota-based activists working with our partners of the U'wa Nation in Colombia, recounting the U'wa's recent struggle to recover their ancestral territory from oil drilling.
For decades, the U'wa indigenous people of Colombia have been an inspiration to others around the world, including everyone at Amazon Watch. With vision, persistence and courage, they have repeatedly demanded their rights and overcome the daunting forces arrayed against them.
By entering and occupying the actual Gibraltar gas extraction site, the U'wa are taking their nonviolent direct action to a new level, even given the risks they run.
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."
"The U'wa people are thankful for the solidarity from everyone who made possible this trip in favor of our territorial defense. We hope that, with your help, we will be successful in defending Mother Nature."