Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cauca, we hardly knew ye

After he introduced us to the plants;

after hiking us up to the mirador, where he told about the macaws of the river valley, how they mate for life, and glide up and down the canyon each day, like an emerald river in the air, and about the serial widow who consolidated mine- and slaveholdings across the region through the 16th century;

after a delicate explanation of what was once a spindle in the hands of the indigenous maiden in bas relief on the plaza de Chinquinquirá in Santa Fe, and had become something else at the hand of some merry vandals, determined to rewrite the story with a rasp file;

after leading us over on this hundred-year-old suspension bridge; and introducing us to its polymath engineer, “amigo de Edison;”

Gonzalo looked back with us across the rio Cauca and laid out how this was the zero point for the impending reservoir slated for damming over the next couple years. Largest hydroelectric project in the history of Colombia, hundreds of families displaced, and, of course, an entire greenwashing booster campaign, big international hotels promised to go in at the Puente de Occidente, and a “zona ecologica” along the 50-mile banks, where they say a million trees will be planted. Like funeral flowers lined up along both sides of the body.

Also: Hydropower will be generated for export.
To the US. By transoceanic cable. No fooling.


Environmental Justice Atlas: Hidroituango

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