Wednesday, 31 May 2017

The Corporate Juggernaut And Genocide.

       The horror, death and destruction that is Syria, is difficult to grasp, the scale of the deaths, maiming and total decimation of the country's infrastructure is Armageddon, here and now. No matter how you look at it, the greatest destruction and deaths on the planet are perpetrated by the so called "developed countries". This is how they attempt to dominate the world, state violence by their military might, taking sides and creating fields of blood and slaughter to determine who controls certain swaths of the planet, and the resources there in. Of course the various states don't always use their military killing machines, sometimes it is their corporate bed partners that do the damage with the backing and support of the state.
       I don't think you'll find our babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media, reporting this case of genocide, being carried out by a corporate juggernaut with the backing of a state that weaves the usual duplicity, and creates the necessary legislation to make it all "legal".
      In Columbia the Wayuu people have for countless generations relied on the Rancheria river, it is their main source of life, their only drinking water in the area for the people, animals and irrigation of the land. Now by duplicity, smoke and mirror illusion, it has gone, mainly to feed a large mining corporation. The Wayuu people are dying a slow death, while the corporate mining juggernaut gets richer and richer. The festering marriage of capitalism and the state at work.  When it comes to profit, people are expendable.
 A father and son observe the remnants of the Rancheria river on Wayuú land / The Cercado dam and reservoir

      Colombia’s largest indigenous group, the Wayuú, have been left for dead after the Colombian government diverted the Rancheria river to South America’s largest coal mine in 2011.
      Five years ago, Colombia’s government completed the construction of the Cercado dam, a project they claimed would improve the lives of all in the arid Guajira region by supplying 9 towns with a second source of drinking water, employing 1,000 workers and providing irrigation for 18,500 hectares of farmland. However, the dam’s impact on the lives of Colombia’s largest indigenous ethnic group, the Wayuú people, was ignored entirely. The river was the only source of drinking water available near the Wayuú and its disappearance from the landscape has had dire consequences. Now, the Wayuú must walk over three hours to water wells filled with dangerous bacteria and salt, making health complications and diarrhea the new normal.
        The area is entirely devoid of clinics and hospitals. Without the river, the Wayuú can no longer cultivate their land, leaving them not only thirsty, but hungry as well. Since the dam was completed in 2011, over 4,700 children, most of them under the age of five, have died from thirst or other complications associated with a lack of clean drinking water. Of course, these are only the documented deaths. The Wayuú, whose population now hovers around 100,000, say that more than 14,000 have died.
       Did the Colombian government live up to its lofty promises of offering water to new communities and farms? It turns out the largest beneficiary of the Cercado dam is a giant coal mine, known as Cerrejón, that uses more than 17 million liters of water a day while the Wayuú lives off of less than 0.7 liters a day per person, though their water is often too salty to drink. Cerrejón, whose logo reads “responsible mining,” is South America’s largest pit coal mine and produces an estimated 32 million tons of coal annually.
      Though originally founded by ExxonMobil, the mine is now jointly owned by a consortium of some of the largest mining companies in the world – AngloAmerican, BHP Billiton, and Xstrata. The Wayuú and their leaders have worked tirelessly to try to confront these mining behemoths who have stolen their water and threatened them with extinction. However, the mining companies often work with right-wing paramilitary groups, who are responsible for the deaths of thousands, in order to get what they want. The Colombian government is also uninterested in improving life for the Wayuú as its mining ministers are notoriously corrupt. Just this March, Colombia’s mining minister resigned amid a corruption probe.
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