CARACAS — A throng of angry protesters in the city’s commercial district dispersed as another teargas grenade penetrated the enraged mass of Venezuelans that were voicing their displeasure with President Nicolas Maduro’s flagging government. Within minutes, a swarm of people wearing white helmets with a green cross on the front pushed through clouds of white fog and chaos to attend to those wounded on the city streets.
Anti-government protests in Caracas have already paralysed the Venezuelan capital for months, young people fed up of a corrupt government as hunger and hyperinflation continue. Despite the state violence and constant repression, the resistance movement shows no signs of stopping.
CHOCÓ, Colombia – Rivers, forests and its inhabitants are inseparably connected in Colombia’s Chocó department on the country’s northwest coast. The gravity of the contamination that has begun to affect the well-being of the whole aquatic ecosystem and adjacent riverine communities recently got the attention of Colombia’s higher judicial powers.
Valledupar, Colombia – Although the Arhuaco indigenous peoples of Colombia’s coastal mountain range — the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta — are known for their century-long track record of environmental protection, their cultural survival and preservation of the mountain ecosystems are at risk. A new initiative that looks to preserve biodiversity and replant forests under indigenous control could help turn the tide, though.
Across the globe, countries with massive oil reserves are often poor, corrupt and inefficient, relying almost exclusively on petroleum, instead of investing in other industries. When prices are high, money abounds, but when prices fall, the economy often spirals into disaster.
CAJAMARCA, Colombia – Residents of a town in central Colombia sent a clear message on Sunday to the powers that be that they don’t want a large-scale mining operation in their backyard. In an almost unanimous vote of 6,165 of 6,296 voters (about 98 percent), inhabitants of the Colombian municipality of Cajamarca voted against one of the world’s largest planned gold mines. Dubbed La Colosa, the open-pit mine is a project of world’s third largest gold producer, AngloGold Ashanti.
Black lagoon of Colombia’s Santurbán moorlands. Photo by Paola Peñaloza via Wikimedia Commons
BOGOTÁ – A four year-old complaint against global mining company Eco Oro Minerals Corp.has resulted in an investigation and divestment from major investors in a regional project in Colombia. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private lending arm of the World Bank, was pressured to divest from a major mining project in Colombia owned by Eco Oro in December 2016. The Canadian junior mining company has struggled since the 1990s (then named Greystar Resources Limited) to develop its Angostura goldmine that is prospected in Colombia’s Santurbán Páramo – a high altitude wetland ecosystem.