Stop Oil Drilling on U'wa Lands!

Activists serve Occidental Petroleum investor Al Gore a notice of eviction at his presidential campaign office in Manhattan in 2000.

From 1998-2002, The Activism Center at Wetlands Preserve campaigned to stop oil giant Occidental Petroleum from drilling for oil on the lands of the U'wa people, indigenous dwellers of the Colombian cloudforest. The campaign included weekly protests at the offices of major Occidental stockholder Occidental Petroleum, three disruptions of speeches by then VIce-President Al Gore, whose family has sizable holdings in the company, demonstration's at Gore's presidential campaign office, educational panels and presentations featuring U''wa representatives. In May of 2002, Occidental pulled out of U'wa land!

To learn more, read the U'wa Defense Working Group 's press release.

After Wetlands' long involvement in the campaign in solidarity with the U'wa people of Colombia, we were disappointed to hear of the oil industry's return to U'wa traditional land. Only six months after the victory of the U'wa against Occidental Petroleum's oilexploration in the cloud forests of northeastern Colombia, they once again face an oil threat to their lives, land, and culture. In late October, the U'wa reported that machinery had once again begun to arrive to the Gilbralter 1 well site. This is the same drill site where Oxy spent $100 million over ten years to develop an exploratory well which-according to the company-did not yield any financial viable oil reserves. Convinced that oil exists, Ecopetrol, the Colombian state-owned oil company, has moved tractors and heavy drilling equipment to the site, under heavy military protection. Meanwhile, the situation in Colombia has worsened. The new ultra right government of Alvaro Uribe has been back and forth to Washington lobbying the Bush administration for additional military aid. President Uribe has announced that he will personally oversee efforts to expand new oil exploration and increase oil investment in the country. For the full details and information, click here.

Wetlands activists protest Occidental's genocidal oil exploration project.

Additional Information:

U'wa Statement on Occidental Petroleum's Withdrawal from U'wa SacredLand

Alternet: Colombian Tribe Topples Mighty Oil Giant

Background on the U'wa Struggle from the Rainforest Action Network

Project Underground U'wa Campaign Page

U'wa Homepage (Spanish only)

Life to the U'wa!

Occidental: Supporting Suicide


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