Colombia: Peasant rebellion forces Chinese oil company to stop operations

Colombian democratic and popular newspaper Nueva Democracia reports that for more than a month indigenous people and peasants have been blocking the entrance of the Emerald Energy facilities in San Vicente del Caguan in Southern Colombia. Emerald Energy is an oil company, owned by Chinese state-monopoly Sinochem, that has been exploiting and destroying the area since 2013. During this time, it has caused severe damage to the living conditions of the local people and to the environment and infrastructure, and the justified anger of masses is now bursting out in protests.

(Source: BBC)

One of the demands of the rebelling masses is that the road used by the peasants to transport their produce to the urban area of San Vicente del Caguan should be repaired after the damage the oil company has caused to it. The company has however ignored the demands. The peasants did not accept this and developed the protest: most recently, on 2nd of March, around thousand peasants of the Peasant Guard occupied and set fire to the facilities of the oil company and forced it to cease operations.

(Source: Nueva Democracia)

ESMAD, a special riot police force, which was created by the fatherland-selling Colombian government as part of the yankee campaign ”Plan Colombia” to hold the semi-colony even tighter in its grip, was dispatched to repress the protests. In over 20 years of its existence, it has repeatedly used excessive force against demonstrators and activists, attacked poor peasants and indigenous people and carried out genocides against them. The peasants, armed with machetes, sticks and bottles could however victoriously combat and resist the attack, ripping off the “Public Force” insignia and confiscating the weapons of the police. They detained 79 of the troops of ESMAD, which was powerless in front of the people. Defeated and disarmed the police were paraded on a walk of shame in front of the masses of peasants, who were cheerfully mocking them and shouting at them, expressing their justified hatred for the horrendous crimes against the people.

(Source: Infobae/Nueva Democracia)
(Source: AND)
Reinel Arévalo (Source: El Heraldo/Nueva Democracia)

One peasant named Reinel Arévalo and one policeman was killed in the confrontation. The opportunist president Gustavo Petro made no effort in acknowledging the demands of the people, but threatened them with more violence, revealing the fatherland-selling position of the government of Colombia, which favors the interests of the Chinese monopoly over the interests of the people. However, Emerald Energy announced that it will cease operations in the area.

This struggle is part of the wider peasant struggles in Colombia. In January poor peasants in the La Mojana region blocked roads in the area, protesting the poor infrastructure and the lack of response from the government against the common natural occurrence in the area, flooding. Last year, peasants and indigenous people in many areas of Colombia protested against the violent evictions of thousands of poor peasants by the ESMAD and the Armed Forces, and were faced with severe repression. Despite his campaign promises, the opportunist Petro has done nothing to put an end to the repression and murdering of the poorest masses by the ESMAD and the Armed Forces in service to Yankee imperialism and other imperialists, on the contrary, it has increased.

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