( Translated by Steve Cagan, a CSN volunteer translator)
Statement of CISCA in the face of Coal Exploitation in the Catatumbo Region
The Social Integration Committee of Catatumbo (CISCA) transmits its position in the face of exploitation of natural resource and coal in particular to the national and international community. This position is the consensus reached in the recent energy premeeting of Catatumbo, where 400 delegates of associations of community action councils and other associations of the region came together.
The unified voice of this premeeting expressed:
- The exploitation of coal is destructive, from what’s visible to us, the damage will be very great…As a people we gain nothing from the exploitation. As a community, our share will be…social deterioration, the destruction of an entire life of organization…Threats, exiles and murders among the people…forced displacement, uprooting, abandonment of the fields, our quality of life will fall even more, there will be greater economic dependency, greater slavery…in the end our share will be total exclusion and an enormous pit like a great grave for everyone.
- In the environmental area, the damage will be no less: The exploitation of the mine will damage the forests, the water, the air, and make them disappear… It will certainly change the climate…The soil will be more arid and will have a notable effect on the crops. Many diseases, both of humans and of plants and animals, will follow. The earth will be destroyed…Agricultural production will not be the same…
- In the cultural area: we’ll see the loss of values move even further along, the loss of our cultural identity…the growth of individualism, changes or disappearance of good customs.
Because our natural resources must be seen as the great reserve of every man and woman, because the must contribute to the solution of structural problems of the Colombian nation and in no way be converted into a great prize for transnational companies, we say roundly say NO to the exploitation of coal in Catatumbo and we propose:
Strengthening the work of CISCA and encouraging even more the development of our Life Plan, staying united and standing up to the situations to come…
More information, building consciousness in the communities about what our rights are…Knowing our rights we will know why we are out demanding…
Catatumbo, September 15, 2007
For Intergration, Life and Territory, NO to exploitation of coal!
RED DE HERMANDAD Y SOLIDARIDAD – COLOMBIA