AMERICA/COLOMBIA - The suspension of the hydroelectric project El Quimbo requested by the population

Friday, 18 November 2016 environment   area crisis   politics  

Garzón (Agenzia Fides) - "Peace is not merely the absence of war; nor can it be reduced solely to the maintenance of a balance of power between enemies; nor is it brought about by dictatorship. Instead, it is rightly and appropriately called an enterprise of justice". With these words of the Conciliar Constitution "Gaudim et Spes" (# 78), the Bishop of the Diocese of Garzón (Colombia), His Exc. Mgr. Fabio Duque Jaramillo, O.F.M. commented on the suspension of the hydroelectric project El Quimbo, in the department of Huila. The Prelate said he was surprised because the company was given an exemption.
For the same reasons, other social groups, such as the mayors of the municipalities involved: El Agrado, Garzón, Giante, Tesalia, Altamira and Paicol, have expressed their discontent.
Mgr. Duque Jaramillo spoke yesterday, in a public hearing organized by the municipality of Garzón, just to listen to the reasons of this general discontent. The Bishop said that "to build peace all the causes of discord among men, which generate wars must disappear; especially injustice, and many things in this project are ambiguous".
He concluded highlighting that the injustice and violation of human rights of a group of Colombian farmers is surprising, "whose work has contributed to a priceless wealth for the area of Huila and for Colombian society". Those involved in the project are affected in various ways, because "the conditions of many of those who are moved, are no better than before".
The hydroelectric project in El Quimbo, born in 2008, has required the movement of a group of farmers and part of the area's population. According to the local press, studies concerning the respect of nature are not favorable to the project. In this regard Mgr. Duque Jaramillo said: "I am surprised that a job which is presented as the pride of the nation devastates environment, biodiversity, ecosystems, denying the possibility of permanence and the prolongation of life, at a time when the whole world begins to become aware of the damage we do to our 'common home' with some mega-projects".
The public hearing, which began on November 11, ended with the immediate demand of suspension of the project because of the damage it is causing to the environment and population. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 18/11/2016)