More About Ecopetrol
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."
Plans by Colombia's state-owned firm Ecopetrol to drill for gas in the north of the country have been suspended following opposition from the indigenous U'wa people.
After a tense 40-day stand-off over a bombed and paralyzed oil pipeline, the U'wa indigenous people came to an agreement late yesterday with the Colombian government, avoiding the possibility of a forceful incursion into their territory.
A forcible eviction of the U'wa from their encampment would certainly be a horrific event. The U'wa are pacifists by culture – while they are not willing to kill anyone for their beliefs, they are willing to die for them.
The situation for Colombia's U'wa people is both more hopeful and also more precarious than it has been in years. This could be a watershed moment – either allowing them to achieve several key demands or ending in tragedy.