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Wednesday, 15 March 2017 00:00

Ecologist organizations push for the creation of an environmental truth commission

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Last Friday, the national workday in defense of territories, water and life was held. The seventh national day organized by the “Movimiento Ríos Vivos” [Live Rivers Movement] that focuses on the relationship between tributaries and peacebuilding, “because if territories are seen as goods and rivers are dammed, it is not possible to talk about peace” as explained by Isabel Cristina Zuleta, spokeswoman for the organization.

Zuleta said that the organization seeks to make visible this proposal in joint with the Historical Memory Center, regarding the need to establish a Commission of the Truth in the light of environmental crimes. In this way, it seeks to claim nature as a victim of more than 50 years of armed conflict in Colombia.

In Santander, Antioquia, Bogotá, Cauca, Córdoba, Huila, and other cities around the country, various activities will be carried out in the defense of rivers, against global economic interests and the development of hydroelectric projects.

Also read "How would peace in Colombia contribute to the environment?"

"Most of the rivers have been the repositories of murdered people and blood ... The city is sickening the Colombian countryside" Says Zuleta, adding that this is what environmental violence is about, since the Colombian conflict has favored the economic interests of companies that build dams and other extractive projects, which in turn, forcefully displaced communities, as is currently happening with the communities that have been affected by the Hidroituango Company in Antioquia.

Taking into account this relationship between rivers and peace, the activities of this seventh day will be carried out in Transitional Zones [where FARC-EP is currently grouped], such as Briceño, Toledo and Ituango. The objective is to strengthen the community processes with the environmentalist approach, so that the villagers know how to defend their territories from these companies.

Also read "Fracking in San Martin: Pilot project for Democracy?"

For example, according to Isabel Cristina, it has been known that companies such as Continental Gold, are already socializing a mining project in certain areas of Antioquia, so it is important to train residents to not allow companies to enter into their territories.

Finally, the spokesperson for Ríos Vivos, added that the activities of the day seek to push the request to the “ANLA” (National Environmental Licensing Agency) for a public hearing to monitor the Hidrotituango Company and contemplate the environmental effects on the part of EPM (Public Services Company) on tropical dry forest damage, animals and water pollution.

Source: Contagio Radio

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