Colombia gives go-ahead to fill controversial dam


Five years ago, some 600 of Colombia’s Emberá Indians set off in wooden canoes and rafts down the 230-mile (370-km) Sinú River, chanting prayers and singing hymns in a leave-taking ceremony called “Do Wabura,” or “Farewell River.” They were grieving the expected completion of the $750-million Urrá hydroelectric plant in Tierralta, Córdoba. Among other things, the work would involve funneling water into tunnels, altering the river’s course and killing off huge numbers of the fish the tribe depended on. Today, the 243-foot- (74-meter-) high dam is poised to begin operations. And the Emberá’s world is upside down. The project has killed an estimated 80% of the fish available to the 2,500-member tribe, which lives on a reservation upriver... [Log in to read more]

Would you like to Subscribe?