Probe Alerts

Probe Alert Fall 2000

Probe International

September 1, 2000

On April 21, after four months of protest against the filling of the Urrá dam reservoir, Colombia’s Embera Katió people have reached an agreement with Urrá S.A. Company (the dam builder) and the Colombian government.

For the Embera, the agreement is a partial victory.

“We are pleased that we came to an agreement, but this is just the beginning of the negotiations,” said Kimy Pernia Domico, one of the Embera Katió leaders who travelled to Canada last November to plead for help from the Canadian government.

The Urrá company agreed to try and restore lost fisheries and livelihoods upstream of the dam, and the government pledged to drop plans for a second dam.

On the downside, the Embera were awarded only half the land and cash settlement they had demanded, and the government has yet to provide any compensation to the estimated 60,000 people downstream whose fishing livelihoods have been damaged by the dam.

The challenge now, say activists working in Colombia, will be getting the government and the company to live up to their commitments.


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