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All the looks turn to the mayor of Paicol, Norberto Palomino Rios, who is identified as the main responsible for the brutal eviction of the camp site of fishermen and peasants living by river Magdalena in Colombia.
The mayor ordered the repression by the Riot Police that resulted in three people injured. The demonstration was held against the building of El Quimbo dam, since there were warnings that the best cultivable lands of the region would be flooded by the project, thus displacing peasant communities.
The Colombian organizations report that the eviction was held without the presence of either the Ombudsman or the Red Cross. National and international journalists were also banned from the place, as well as delegates from organizations such as Rios Vivos, the International Peace Watch and Censat- Friends of the Earth Colombia.
Our correspondent in Colombia, Danilo Urrea, who was on the ground, interviewed Pedro Nel Macias, priest of Gigante municipality. Macias was also banned from the place over “safety reasons”, after the government ordered the expropriation of the conflictive lands.
“The peasants are making fair demands, we do not want more people to be unprotected”, said the priest. He did not hesitate to blame the government authorities for the displacement of the communities.
“The government displaces the communities. It is going against the river, against the richness of Colombia”, said the priest.
There is something that nobody questions: a peaceful demonstration was confronted with violent repression. “These people were peacefully demanding the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development to call off the works to build El Quimbo dam due to the lack of an environmental license by transnational corporations Emgesa y Enel, who own the project”, reads the press release of Rios Vivos.
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