What is more desired that development?
It is odd for someone to say that they don’t want development. Yet, the Peace Community of San José de Apartado has been labeled as “anti-development.” Made up of peasants who were displaced and dispossessed in the 1990s by paramilitary actions, the community now represents territorial resistance and protection in a neutral zone amid the armed conflict, And, in fact, in a way it could be said that the community is anti-development, opposing the concept of “extractivist” development. A development that encourages a draining of the river and depleting natural resources at the expense of the environment. This article will lay out some of the socio-political, environmental, and systematic impacts and violence that the Peace Community’s life project has resisted, opposed, and denounced to build peaceful collective spaces amid the armed conflict.
Continue reading What Development Are We Talking About?
The Atrato River starts in the Plateado Hills of the western mountain range in Antioquia. This river, which crosses the departments of Chocó and Antioquia before flowing into the Gulf of Urabá, is one of the region’s most abundant rivers and an irrefutable source of life. It is also one of the areas hardest hit by the armed conflict. In particular, the Bajo Atrato, and the Urabá subregion have registered around 429,820 victims of forced displacement, dispossession, and selective murders, among other serious human rights violations.
The actions of the banana, palm oil, and mining industries, tied to armed actors, have contributed to a dispossession of ethnic communities from their lands amid grave state omissions relative to protection guarantees. Dispossession suffered by the communities of the Bajo Atrato has a common denominator, a violation of their ancestral rights and environmental impacts on their lands. Additionally, there has been violence against men and women land claimant leaders, like Mario Castaño, murdered five years ago, on 26 November 2017, on his farm in the Larga and Tumaradó river basins (Bajo Atrato).
Continue reading Guacamayas: “Simply Staying on the Land”
With the dawn comes rain, which is normal in Putumayo, or at least that is what they tell us about the rainy season in this beautiful department at the edges of the Amazon region. We thought the flight would be delayed, but it arrives early, Continue reading Solidarity with community struggles to defend the environment in Putumayo
After a month and a half we return to the community of La Madre Unión, in the La Larga and Tumaradó river basins. Continue reading With just a few shots, they have taken Mario Castaño’s life away
“The situation we have at the moment is critical,” states Erasmo Sierra, a strong man of 74 years old, who has been with his wife Agrepina for 47 years. Continue reading We arrived to stay