Tension rises in Colombia as Oxy prepares to drill


As Occidental Petroleum gets ready to sink a major new exploratory well here, concerns are mounting that the controversial project is drawing the nature-worshipping U’wa Indians into the shadow of war. In mid-December, three months after Occidental was granted a license to drill on its Samoré block in northeastern Colombia, 200 guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) overran the town of Cubará, site of the U’wa’s headquarters. The rebels, displaying their control over the region, bombed the police station, shot three policemen, and leveled 28 homes with pipe bombs and heavy-weapons fire. Then last month, hundreds of Colombian soldiers forcibly removed 16 U’wa occupying Occidental’s drilling site. A local official who sided with... [Log in to read more]

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