Articles by: Bart Beeson
The indigenous U'wa of northeast Colombia are battle-hardened experts at fending off greedy oil companies' attempts to drill on their lands. Up until now, these corporations have been foreign, but the latest threat comes from the homegrown Ecopetrol, Colombia's partly state-owned energy company. As government and corporate officials recently announced new plans for expanded oil explorations, the U'wa have once again started to hunker down, preparing for the long battle ahead.
The 16th commemoration of World Water Day came and went on March 22 with little fanfare. Francisco, a retired Salvadoran construction worker, didn’t have much to celebrate anyway. When I spoke with him on the poor outskirts of San Salvador last December, water had not come out of his faucets for months. Despite making minimum wage, or about $161 a month, he still dutifully pays his $7 dollar water bill every month. “I keep paying the bill, because if my service is disconnected, then I'll have to pay even more to get it reconnected,” he reasons.