Defenders of the Colombian Amazon scared hills: the mining concession

At that time, the community was focused on the priests from the Community Centre, who usually accompanied food security programs and guided the indigenous people in the elaboration of their life plan (a route to recover their knowledge and community organization). It was precisely the appeal made by the priests that made the engineer respect the inhabitants, their collective rights and leave the hut.

The community started making claims against Rubén and other leaders.

“They pointed me out. They told me that I sold the territory for money, that I received thirty million, fifteen million. That’s false,” the Captain says.

In Timbó de Betania they think that the right to prior consultation was not respected because they did not dialogue with all the inhabitants of the three communities, Bogotá Cachivera, Murutinga and Timbó themselves. Apparently, there was a meeting with some indigenous people where they signed an agreement.

José Ernesto Uribe Suárez, who was a captain between 2005 and 2014, says that he learned that the miners held a meeting in Murutinga and an engineer came to the area to take coordinates, but at the time he did not know what these people were working on.

“They came with an engineer, as they negotiated. They had a big meeting and I think that’s where they signed the document. According to people, most of them signed the document, which means that they are going to mine, so after five years, or six, this problem started to appear (…). From then on, a year later, they returned by force, they came with a big project, which was already done, already signed,” says the former captain, calling for clarification of what happened.

The indigenous people are talking about their fears again. They fear that the arrival of the mining company will contaminate their rivers and, in a worst case scenario, force them out of their homes.

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