More than a hundred socio-environmental conflicts in Colombia

Currently, there are more than 160 socio-environmental conflicts in Colombia arising from mega-projects in mining, agribusiness and infrastructure, denounces a report by the Institute of Studies for Development and Peace (Indepaz).

these are projectswhich, to a large extent, go against the interests of local communities” and which generated violence that resulted in the murder of 712 environmental leaders, more than half of them indigenous, since the signing of the peace agreements in 2016.

Resistance to these and other projects is the cause of the murder of environmentalist leaders since the signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the extinct FARC guerrilla, in 2016. Of the victims, 364 were indigenous and the rest peasants, Afro-descendants and environmental activists.

The mining activity, the most conflicting

By far, the activity that generates the most conflicts is mining, with around 60, followed by industrial agriculture, oil and infrastructure. Other areas of conflict are the construction of hydroelectric dams, deforestation for land conversion, intensive livestock or wind energy.

The areas most affected by these conflicts, as a result of the “expansion of extractivism” in this mega-diverse country and rich in natural resources are the departments of Valle, Antioquia, Meta and Cauca.

Socio-environmental conflicts by “interests of capital”

Many times the treatment given to these conflicts is the violent imposition of the interests of capital over those of the communities, which are generally ecologically destructive.“says the report.

Indepaz warns that these conflicts “affect different types of communities (urban population, peasants, indigenous communities, Afro-descendant communities)” and are generated “by different types of companies (domestic, foreign and mixed)“.

According to the Institute of Studies for Development and Peace (Indepaz), 712 environmental leaders have been murdered in this country since the signing of peace agreements in 2016.

According to the NGO Global Witness, Colombia is the second country with the most environmental leaders victims of homicide between 2012 and 2021, with 322 people murdered, behind Brazil, which has 342 violent deaths.


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