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Communities demand compliance with Cauca river rights

Despite the fact that four years ago a court declared the Cauca River as a subject of rights, members of the omité Ambiental por la Defensa de la Vida, el Agua y el Territorio del Cauca; Guardianes del Río Cauca y La Red Pluriétnica demanded before ministers and diplomats the compliance and guarantees of participation as dictated in the sentence.

Currently, two hydroelectric megaprojects affect the course of this water tributary that flows through 9 departments, 228 municipalities and 7 capital cities: La Salvajina, in the department of Cauca, and Hidroituango, in the department of Antioquia. Both projects generate environmental, ecosystemic and social impacts on the communities that inhabit the Cauca river basin. In addition, these territories have suffered the rigors of war during the last decades with the presence of armed groups, massacres, homicides and forced disappearances that promoted land dispossession.

Faced with this, in 2019 and in response to a tutela action, the Superior Court of Medellin issued sentence 038 of 2019, which declared the Cauca River as a subject of rights, specifically protecting the recovery, restoration, conservation and maintenance of the watershed and ordering the protection of the rights of its inhabitants to a dignified life.

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