The “El Quimbo” hydroelectric project involves the construction of a main dam over 150 m high and 645 m wide, as well as a secondary dam 66 m high and 445 wide. For the construction of the dam, it will be necessary to divert the Magdalena river and clean up the territory.
The dam’s artificial basin provides for the flooding of 8,300 hectares of productive land, which the Government and ENEL do not know how to replace, since available land lacks for the approximately 13 people who will lose their homes, jobs and food security due to the project, which, moreover, was designed in one of the most fertile regions of the country.
Displaced people are offered compensation of around € 10,000 per family, although Colombian law provides that communities affected by projects must be compensated with land. However, evictions have started, and bulldozers have destroyed homes and crops.
The madness of the project, paid dearly by local communities, lies in the fact that the electricity produced will not be distributed locally, and therefore will not bring improvements in the life of the communities, but is meant to be exported and cover the energy needs of the gold and coal mines in Colombia.
After a series of meetings with Colombian associations and lawyers, the communities decided not to begin a trial in Italy, and to focus on legal battles before the Colombian Courts.