Nueva Consulta Popular en Colombia le gana a la minería

Cabrera: New Popular Consultation wins over mining in Colombia

Fuente: Video producido por la comunidad de Cabrera, Cundinamarca, Colombia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbPzWYGn3sQ&feature=youtu.be

Con el apoyo de Censat Agua Viva: http://censat.org/es/videos/consulta-popular-en-cabrera-un-no-rotundo

La gente de Cabrera, un municipio pequeño, cerca de Bogotá, la capital del país, clavado en la cordillera de los Andes, rico en recursos hídricos, se unió para pedirle al gobierno local que llevara a cabo una Consulta Popular para decirle no a la minería.

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Cabrera es denominada como Zona Reserva Campesina, y con el objetivo de proteger la vocación de su territorio para la producción de alimentos, prohibió la minería y las hidroeléctricas en su territorio. La Consulta Popular para hacerlo se llevó a cabo el pasado 26 de Febrero de 2017, la cual corroboró la voluntad de la gente con 1,465 votos en contra de la minería de un total de 1,506 votos (97.28%). Para sus habitantes era clave votar no a la minería ya que su territorio se encuentra ubicado sobre el río Sumapaz, el cual nace en el páramo más grande de Colombia, el cual lleva el mismo nombre, un ecosistema de alta montaña de alto valor ecológico que solo se encuentra en la cordillera andina. Este río nutre a varios otros municipios montaña abajo, en donde sus habitantes dependen de esta agua para sobrevivir y para la agricultura. Esta región es una despensa agrícola para la capital que provee frijoles, maíz, tomate y frutas, entre otros. La urgencia de proteger el territorio de Cabrera se aumentó entre los habitantes cuando supieron que existía un plan de construir una posible hidroeléctrica en este río, la cual afectaría sus recursos hídricos. Ellos son conscientes de que este tipo de proyectos beneficiarían a las empresas multinacionales, pero no los beneficiaría a ellos. Cabrera ha sido reconocido históricamente como un epicentro clave para el fortalecimiento de la cultura campesina y de la autonomía popular, manteniendo procesos productivos tradicionales, agricultura limpia y producción a pequeña escala.

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“Este mundo no es para todos los sus habitantes, no solo para el beneficio de unas pocas multinacionales. Está no solo para el bienestar de la humanidad, sino de todos los animalitos y los demás seres con quienes lo compartimos, y a quienes debemos proteger”, dicen los pobladores al celebrar su victoria.

Fotos: Ricardo de la Pava

 

 

The people of Cabrera, a water-rich, food producing municipality in Colombia, have banned mining and large hydropower on their lands through a popular consultation. Their victory is the latest success in a wave of popular consultations across Latin America.

Article by YLNM Coordinator Mariana Gomez. Video produced by the people of Cabrera, Cundinamarca, Colombia With the support of Censat Agua Viva: http://censat.org

 

Last month, people from Cabrera, a small municipality close to Bogotá, the Colombian capital, high up in the Andes Mountains, rich in water sources, came together to hold a popular consultation on mining and hydropower projects planned for their lands.

The Popular Consultation took place on the 26 February 2017, and the people of Cabrera voted to ban mining with a resounding majority. 1,506 total votes cast, 1,465 (97.28%) of votes were in favour of banning mining.

 

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Cabrera is designated as a Peasant Area Reserve, and the protection of food growing land and livelihoods lay at the heart of people’s decision to hold a popular consultation, and to reject mining and hydropower projects. The region serves as a ‘food basket’ for Bogota, producing beans, corn, tomato and fruits, amongst other foodstuffs.

Cabrera has historically been an epicenter for strengthening peasant livelihoods and popular autonomy, holding on to and nurturing traditional productive methods, clean agriculture and small scale production.

Anguish filled the people when they learnt of a plan to build a hydropower plant on their lands, which they understand will threaten their water sources. Cabrera lies on the Sumapaz River, born from the largest paramo in Colombia, a key, water-rich high mountain ecosystem only found in the Andes Mountains. This river nurtures several other municipalities whose inhabitants depend on the paramo and its rivers for drinking water and agriculture.

 

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Aware that these types of large-scale industrial projects would only enrich multinational companies, but would not benefit people or the ecosystems they rely upon, the inhabitants of Cabrera began to organise towards the popular consultation that has now successfully taken place.

Celebrating their victorious consultation, the people of Cabrera write:

“This world is for all the inhabitants of the planet, not only for the benefit of a few multinationals. It is here for the wellbeing not only of humanity, but that of all animals and other beings with which we share it and that we must protect.”

Communities seeking to use popular consultations as a democratic mechanism to decide the future of mining and other destructive projects on their lands received a boost late last year as the Colombian Constitutional Court declared that municipalities have a constitutional right to hold referendums on and ban mining. 

Buoyed by this legal victory, consultation processes are also ongoing in Cajamarca and Ibague, where communities are seeking to protect life-sustaining water and ecosystems threatened by Anglo Gold Ashanti’s planned La Colosa gold mine. YLNM members have been supporting these processes through publicity, information and solidarity support.

Pictures: Ricardo de la Pava

 


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