Bolivia’s government issued a decree cancelling a massive joint lithium project with German multinational ACI Systems Alemania—just days before the ouster of President Evo Morales. The move came in response to protests by residents in the southern department of Potosí, where the lithium-rich salt-flats are located. Potosí governor Juan Carlos Cejas reacted to the cancellation by blaming the protests on “agitators” seeking to undermine development in the region. Plans for lithium exploitation were first announced over a decade ago, but have seen little progress—in large part due to the opposition of local communities, who fear the region’s scarce water resources will be threatened by mining. (Photo: Wikipedia)
A lawsuit brought by a Peruvian farmer and mountain guide against a European utility over the imminently threatening impacts of climate change in the high Andes has been stalled for months in the evidentiary stage, partiially due to the lack of an inter-governmental legal assistance agreement between Germany and Peru. Earlier this year, the Higher Regional Court of Hamm, in North Rhine-Westphalia, made a request to the government of Peru to be allowed to inspect the alpine lakes that are the subject of the lawsuit. This is expected to take at least one year to arrange. Meanwhile, signs mount of the glaciers above the lakes becoming destabilized by warming, portending a regional disaster. (Photo via GermanWatch)
In a decision being hailed as "historic," Colombia's Supreme Court of Jutsice ruled in favor of a group of 25 young people and children who brought suit against the state to demand it take measures to assure their right to inherit a healthy environment. They asserted that their future food security and access to water is threatened by continued deforestation in the Amazon and other ecological degradation. In its ruling, the court also noted Colombia's responsibilities on a global level to halt deforestation, as carbon dioxide releases from forest loss contribute to the greenhouse effect. The youth in the case were represented by lawyers from Colombia's Environmental Justice Network. (Photo: Contagio Radio)
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Lima after Peru's scandal-embattled president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski announced his resignation. Clashes were reported in the city's downtown Plaza San Martín, with tear-gas used and several injured. The resignation came after months of political machinations in Peru's congress had put off Kuczynski's ouster, and the ire of the demonstrators was directed not just at the disgraced "PPK," but Peru's entire political class. The left opposition and trade unions are calling for a constituent assembly to "refound the country and devolve power to the people." The popular slogan heard again and again at the marches is "¡Que se vayan todos!" (Throw them all out!) (Photo: Nuevo Perú)
Colombian authorities are clearly hoping that a return to stability following the peace pact with the FARC rebels will mean more international investment, and especially for the resource sector. But hydro-electric, fracking and mineral projects across the country are already meeting with peasant resistance—prompting state security forces to respond with repression.
Community leaders throughout Colombia have spoken out against a proposal by the central government to limit the power of consultas populares, or popular referenda, to bar oil and mineral projects at the municipal level. Some are questioning the constitutionality of the government's plan to "fast track" a sweeping reform of the Organic Law of Territorial Ordering (LOOT) that would strip municipalities of the ability to restrict subsoil exploitation.
Colombia released an "Analysis of Vulnerability and Risk" to the country from climate change, warning of devastating territory loss.
Mining multinational AngloGold Ashanti announced it will abandon its planned mega-project at La Colosa, Colombia, following a popular vote by local residents to reject the project.
Colombia is mourning after the tragic landslide in Mocoa, capital of Putumayo region—the latest disaster to hit the Andes as a result of this year's "abnormal" El Niño.
Some 70,000 are displaced and at least 70 dead as Peru's heaviest rains in two decades—linked to an "abnormal" El Niño—unleashed flash-floods and landslides across the country.
Peru's National Forestry and Wildlife Service is investigating the death of some 10,000 frogs whose bodies have been found in the Río Coata, which flows into Lake Titicaca.
Indigenous protesters blocked the rail line carrying coal from the massive Cerrejón mine in Colombia's La Guajira region, as pressure again mounts on peasant demands.