Article by PBI-Canada
On February 18, CREDHOS tweeted: “#Credhos providing legal and political support to the Federation of Environmental and Tourist Artisanal Fishermen of the Department of Santander – #Fedepesan – in the face of #Threats and #Attacks received for their work in defense of the #Environment and against #Corruption.”
Last month, CREDHOS tweeted: “CREDHOS accompanies environmental organizations and the leader Yuli Velazques of [FEDEPESAN] in the face of events that threatened her life and integrity in Barrancabermeja.”
El Tiempo had reported: “On Wednesday, January 20, the environmental engineer, environmental defender and member of the Barrancabermeja Fisheries Federation, Yuli Andrea Velázquez, was the victim of an attack on her home.”
Several shots were fired at her home by gunmen on a motorcycle.
El Tiempo has also reported: “Yuli is recognized in her region for denouncing an alleged corruption with the resources that the company Ecopetrol and the Santander Regional Autonomous Corporation invest to clean the swamps, unclog the pipes and make an environmental recovery of all the swamps of Barrancabermeja, especially that of San Silvestre. Since, according to her complaints, these resources are not reflected in the recovery of these ecosystems. She has also denounced the contamination of the San Silvestre swamp and the El Llanito swamp.”
Sputnik now reports: “For Yuli, the motives behind the attack she suffered may be related to her activity in defense of the wetland and to the allegations of corruption she has made.”
“She says that as a result of identifying the sources of pollution, it was realized that the environmental authority of the department, which is the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Santander (CAS), had resources to care for, clean, and maintain the wetland.”
That article adds: “Velasquez reports that the company that won the tender did not hire the fishermen of San Silvestre but carried 30 people from another deceived region, who paid them less for their fees and who left them lying in the wetland as if they were displaced.”
FEDEPESAN also recently took part in the protest against fracking in Puerto Wilches that took place on February 11. The organizers of that protest, the Committee for the Defense of Water, Life, and Territory of Puerto Wilches (AguaWil), have also received threats.