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The image shown by the Colombian communication media was a summary of the entire environmental conflict. Despite massive protests, on March 3rd at 5:37 pm, the first water drops started to be seen at the artificial channel as a result of the diversion of the Magdalena River.
A few hours earlier, hundreds of activists from different parts of the country protested against hydroelectric project El Quimbo which would affect several municipalities in Huila department.
El Quimbo is a project authorized by the government and is carried out by Emgesa, a subsidiary of transnational companies Endesa and Enel. According to estimations the dam would flood 7300 hectares, displacing 800 families from their territories.
Some of the demonstrations were repressed by the police, while the companies’ executives showed their satisfaction after the beginning of the project.
Despite this, there will be more mobilizations, among them one on March 14th in the context of the 2nd Day in Defense of Territories in Medellin.
Real World Radio interviewed Juan Pablo Soler, member of Otros Mundos Colombia and the Rios Vivos movement. He made reference to the increasing criminalization of the protest by the government and the false statements made by the promoters of the project. “They speak of new blackouts, and that is completely false, because Colombia is exporting power today”, he said.
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