Lorica Declaration of the Latin America Network Against Dams

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Poster from Third Latin America Meeting of Dam-Affected People
Poster from Third Latin America Meeting of Dam-Affected People
Fourth Meeting of the Latin America Network against Dams, and for Rivers, their Communities, and Water

Santa Cruz de Lorica, Colombia

Energy policies promoted by many of the governments of Latin America in the interest of trans-national capital are based on building mega-hydroelectric dams. These are part of a strategy for growth and exclusionary social, political, and economic “development”, and they result in the sacking and destruction of natural resources and of life in general, without taking into account the serious impacts they cause on the lives of our people, their cultures, and their territories. For this reason, we are opposed to the development of the Puebla-Panama Plan (PPP), the Initiative for Integration of South American Regional Infrastructure (IIRSA), Plan Colombia, Free Trade Agreements (FTAA), and other multilateral agreements. The hundreds of dams that are planned for construction on our continent will not meet the needs of our communities – on the contrary, they will marginalize our people and will violate our individual and collective human rights, destroying the environment, killing our rivers and the cultures and hopes of our peoples.

In defense of our sovereignty, we reject the privatization of water and the commodification of our natural resources and our lives, as well as the imposition of related policies which benefit the appetites and profits of capitalist investors to the detriment of our common interest. We support the proposals for sustainability being promoted by social movements and communities as a form of resistance, and in their quest for self-determination and autonomy.

At the IV Meeting of the Latin America Network against Dams and for Rivers, their Communities, and Water, representatives of Indigenous peoples, Afro-descendents, small farmers and other social sectors from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador,
Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, as well as Italy and the United States, met in Santa Cruz de Lorica, Colombia, to analyze the regional situation, share our experiences of resistance against dams, and to propose strategies for defense of our land, water, culture, and life. Facing these problems and threats on the continental level, and in order to present the positions presented above:

1.    The immediate dismantling of the Urrá I Dam, and the reparation of damages caused to the Sinú River, and to the culture and ways of life of the Embera Katio people, the Zenú people, and to the fishermen and small farmers of the lower Sinú River basin caused by the construction and operation of the dam.
2.    The cancellation of the Sinú River Hydroelectric Project (Urrá II) which would condemn the Embera Katio people to extermination and would destroy the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of farmers, fisher folk, and settlers.
3.     That the governments of the region develop a sustainable energy mix which would not have to be imposed on our communities with aggression, with resulting genocide and destruction of cultures and environment, and that they develop a regional policy for energy efficiency.
4.     Reparation for the damages and losses suffered as a result of dams built in Latin America, holding responsible the region´s governments, and the companies and institutions that build and finance them.
5.     An immediate halt to those projects where consultation has not taken place with affected communities, and where the communities have not approved them.
6.     A halt to the criminalization of the struggles and social and environmental protests against dams.
7.     An investigation into and the application of criminal penalties to those who ordered and carried out the assassination of social and popular leaders who fought for the human, cultural, environmental, and land rights of their people.
8.     The ratification and application of Convention 169 of the ILO in those countries where this has not yet taken place; and the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by national legislatures.
9.     Respect and legal recognition for consultative processes and community plebiscites such as those carried out in Pacuare (Costa Rica), Misiones (Argentina) and Ixcán (Guatemala).

10.     Continue in the struggle against large dams, to restore our land and rivers; and to promote and facilitate organizational processes toward achieving positive precedents and to strengthen the continental movement.
11.     Work to have governments respect the principles of self-determination of our Peoples, prior informed consent, true and effective participation by our Peoples and respect for human rights.
12.     Support social movements that struggle for water as a resource for the common good, and for the fundamental right to access to water.
13.     Promote energy and food sovereignty for the sustainability of our Peoples, in the face of the current economic model.
14.     Condemn cultural homogeneity, based upon the current development model which seeks to eliminate or to absorb ethnic groups and traditional cultures.
15.     Respect the cultural cosmovision on nature which we share with the Aboriginal Peoples.
15.     Continue in the International Campaign in Defense of Water and Energy as fundamental rights for living with dignity.
16.     Support the initiative of the Colombian people for a referendum on water to recognize water as a fundamental human right, for the common good, and in protection of the territory that sustains the water cycle.
17.     Support the Movement of Victims of Climate Change and for Climate Justice.
18.     Remain in solidarity with all the continental and global processes in the fight against dams and which promote development alternatives, such as that of the Embera Katio People and of ASPROCIG in Colombia affected by Urrá Dam on the Sinú River, the Chilean communities affected by the five mega-dams being proposed by Hidro Aysén (Endesa-Colbún), the Honduran communities affected by Patuca III and El Tigre, the Guatemalan communities affected by the Cimarrón and Chaparral dams, the Mexican people affected by the imposition of the Zapotillo, La Parota, and Arcediano dams, the Panamanian communities affected by construction of Chan 75, and the untiring struggle of the Costa Rican people in defense of the Pacuare River, and their opposition to the Dikes
and Savegre dams.

We issue a call to all societies and the representatives that govern them, to make a commitment to a sustainable energy model which takes ethical responsibility for nature and people.


Afectados Represa Daule Peripa-Ecuador
Coordinadora para la defensa de la vida y la naturaleza de la cuenca del Río Guayas-
Grupo Ecologista Cuña Pirú -Argentina
Asociación Ecologista Piuké-Argentina
Taller Ecologista-Argentina
Movimento dos Atingidos por Barragens, Brazil
MMTA-CC Movimiento de Mulheres Trabalhadoras de Altamira, Brazil
Comisión Mewen Mapu, Chile
FIAN, Ecuador

You don´t sell your mother earth and water – you love them and defend them!

CESTA - Amigos de la Tierra -El Salvador
CEIBA-Amigos de la tierra Guatemala
Movimiento de Resistencia 15 de Septiembre San Rafael, San Marcos-Guatemala
Frente Guatemalteco de Afectados y Amenazados por las Represas, FGAARDA,
Comisión de Seguimiento a la Consulta Comunitaria, Ixcán, Guatemala
Comisión Pastoral Paz y Ecología, San Marcos, Guatemala
Defensa Río Patuca - Pueblo MISKITO- Honduras
Colectivo Italia-Centroamérica
Otros Mundos A.C / MAPDER- Mexico
MAPDER / Centro de Derechos Humanos Tepeyac- Mexico
MAPDER/ Comité Salvemos Temaca, Acasico y Palmarejo-Mexico
MAPDER/ IMDEC, A. C.- Mexico
Convergencia de Movimientos de los Pueblos de las Américas, COMPA.
Red Nacional contra las Represas-Panama
Movimiento 10 de Abril del Río Tabasará- Panama
Consejo Emberá del Alto Bayano, Panama
Alianza para la Conservación y el Desarrollo-Panama
REDES, Amigos de la Tierra- Uruguay
Comité Nacional Pro Defensa de la Fauna y Flora, Amigos de la Tierra- Chile
SOBREVIVENCIA, Amigos de la Tierra-Paraguay
Brigadas de Paz-Italy
Asociación Proyecto Alternativo para el Desarrollo Social, PROAL, Costa Rica
Amigos del Río Pacuare, Costa Rica
FECON, Costa Rica
Unión Norte por la Vida, Costa Rica
International Rivers, USA

Asociación Campesina de Antioquia
Fundación EcoVida
Comunidad Caracoli
Comunidad Tembladera
Comunidades Indígenas de la Sierra Nevada de Santamarta
Cabildos Mayores del Pueblo Embera Katío
CENSAT Agua Viva. Amigos de la Tierra Colombia
Agroproductores “Tacana” Medio Sinu
Red de Acueductos Comunitarios del Norte de Bolivar
Red Juvenil Ambiental Nacional – Red JUAN
Confluencia Universitaria de apoyo a l referendo por el Agua
Observatorio de Conflictos Ambientales de la Universidad de Caldas - OCA
Fundación Prosub
Comité Cívico por la defensa del Río Guarinó
Comité Interétnico del Norte del Cauca
Coordinadora Nacional de Usuarios de Servicios Públicos de domiciliarios, Medellín
Red Juvenil Territorio Sur
Comunidades Anchicagûeñas afectadas por la Represa del Bajo Anchicayá - ONUIRA
Comunidades de Betulia y San Vicente de Chucurí Afectadas por la Construcción de la
Represas Hidrosogamoso.
Comité Cívico Prodefensa de Taganga
Proceso de Comunidades Negras - PCN
Red Acueductos Comunitarios
Asociación Campesina Sanfrancisco
Zenu Indigena Organizaciones
Coporación Recar
Universidad Nacional IDEA
Liceo Politecnico del Sinu
Pueblo Kankuamo
Universidad de Nariño
Universidad de Cordoba
Asoproductores de Tacana
OAREI Organización Afrocolombiana Residente Lorica
Intitución Educativa Jesus de N.
Horizonte Verde