28 Nov 2001
Protecting the Rainforest: The U’Wa Defense Project
The U’wa people are an indigenous people living in the cloud forests of northeastern Colombia. They have been engaged since 1992 in an ongoing struggle to prevent oil drilling on their land. For the U’wa, oil is the blood of the Earth and that to extract it is equivalent to committing matricide.
Their representative to the outside world in this struggle, Berito KuwarU’wa, won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 1998. In 2001 he was quoted on the website of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation:
‘Each time that a species is extinguished, humankind approaches its own extinction; each time an Indigenous people becomes extinct, one more member of the great human family leaves forever on a journey with no return… Perhaps before greed takes root in us we will be able to see the wonder of the world and the greatness of the universe that extends beyond the diameter of a coin.’
The struggle of the U’wa continues…
source: Survival International
string: Oilfield in Colombia disappears after Indio prayers