Do wâbura. Goodbye River / The Urrá Dam – Colombia
The Urrá I dam along the Sinu river flooded a surface area of 7,400 hectares, breaking the balance of an ecosystem that had been conserved for centuries by the indigenous Embera Katio from the Upper Sinu. The survival of the Embera Katio indigenous people, who depend on their natural environment both in physical and cultural terms, was therefore greatly jeopardized.
During their struggle against the project, 15 indigenous leaders were assassinated by armed and paramilitary groups, and by guerillas operating in the region. Now, another dam, Urrá II, which would flood an additional 57,000 hectare surface area, may be built and cause the displacement of the Embera Katio and the disappearance of its culture.
Recently, on the pretext of combating terrorism, the Colombian army occupied this indigenous people’s land, thus generating further human rights violations, restricting their movement on their land, and hindering them from penetrating the jungle to hunt and intimidating them with firearms, helicopters, and even shelling. The Urrá II project is currently on hold because the Ministry of the Environment rejected the feasibility study.
Photography and texts by Conchita Guerra