Stop Oil Drilling on U'wa Lands!
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!
Activists serve Occidental Petroleum investor Al Gore a notice of eviction at his presidential campaign office in Manhattan in 2000.
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
Wetlands activists protest Occidental's genocidal oil exploration project.
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
Life to the U'wa!