On February 26th and 27th, Arauca’s police supervisor will try to force around 40 families that occupy their lands, and were dispossessed by the oil transnational OXY more than 20 years ago, out of their lands. Paramilitary threats, resistance of farmers and indigenous communities.
The 40 families that insist on recuperating their lands despite the siege of the oil’s security forces, the police and the army have already settled back since 16 month.
A new fact that came disturbing this community was the appearance of a notice from the paramilitary group of the United Auto-defenses of Colombia (AUC) on the lands recuperated by the farmers, which is located within the oil field of Caño Limón, under the control of the OXY, an area fully militarized and always monitored by electronic devices.
Confrontation, including in the justice system
In the legal instances, OXY tried to use its influence to displace the farmers again, without complying to the verdict given by the Superior Tribunal of Cundinamarca, which fell in favor of the displaced farmers in a tutela from 2011, and ordered to the Colombian Institute for Rural Development (INCODER) to reinforce their rights and relocate the families.
In an audience claiming to displace the farmers from their lands, an agent of the OXY was also acting as Secretary of Arauca’s Municipal Inspector. In that audience, the farmers won a battle that allowed them to stay where they were located.
Now, the OXY is trying to displace them again, this time resting itself on Arauca’s Police Supervisor, to obtain what they want without doing any effort in order to let the farmers recuperate what belongs to them.
Until 2014, the farmers were still paying their taxes for their lands to the municipal administration of Arauca even though it had been 20 years since they couldn’t cultivate their lands.
In addition, the indigenous communities of Arauca’s department exhausted all the legal mechanisms. Through a collective action, they tried to protect what is left of the Lipa lagoon, which is being altered by the impacts of the Chipiron oil project, which is being developed in the estuary of Lipa through a platform on an artificial island that impacts the ecosystem.
The communal leaders filled a penal complaint against the transnational corporation OXY and Corporinoquia, for the environmental damages that the oil exploitation has provoked in Arauca, denouncing that the investigation institution has not helped to move forward.
The oil exploitation, in Arauca’s department, has left a social crisis, environmental and humanitarian, that has consistently been denounced and that has led to social mobilizations in order to plead for decent life conditions. The population of this region sees how their resources leave through the pipeline, while hunger, poverty and inequity remains on the lands.