www.colombiamobilization.org
"We, as the U'wa, continue to be strong in our campaign in defense of
life, the environment and national sovereignty.  The money king will
never change the calling of life itself, the respect for our sacred
mother earth that nourishes us at every moment.  Without her we
cannot eat, drink, and much less breathe. Life itself cannot be
bought or sold.  Respect for the human rights of Indigenous Peoples
is an integral part of the responsibility and obligations of the
governments all around the world . . We demand that all petroleum
exploration and exploitation projects in our legally recognized U'wa
land completely withdraw and be cancelled.  Today we begin a new
journey in defense of life . . ."
IN THIS POST
1. U'wa Update: OIL COMPANY REINVADES U'WA LAND!!!
2. New York Times: New Role for U.S. in Colombia: Protecting a
        Vital Oil Pipeline
3. Reuters: Colombia empowers military in two parts of country
4. TAKE ACTION - HELP US ORGANIZE THE NEXT COLOMBIA MOBILIZATION
        ACTION AGAINST OXY MARCH 24
The historic victory of the U'wa people and their international
network of supporters is still fresh in many of our minds.  But as
with so many of our struggles it continues.
After a 6-month reprieve from oil extraction on their sacred
homeland, the U'wa once again face a renewed threat to their lives,
land, and culture.  In late October, the U'wa reported that machinery
had once again begun to arrive to the Gilbralter 1 well site.  This
is the same site where OXY spent $100 million over ten years to
develop an exploratory well which--according to the company--did not
yield any financial viable oil reserves.  Convinced that oil exists,
Ecopetrol, the Colombian state oil company, has moved 40 tractors and
heavy drilling equipment to the site, under heavy military
protection.  Colombian armed forces have lined the local roads every
500 meters between the towns of Saravena and Cubara.
It is unclear at this point whether or not OXY is involved in these
new efforts to drill deeper at the Gibralter site.   According to
Colombian legal documents, the company has relinquished its rights to
the Gibralter site, but they may still maintain drilling rights to
the rest of the Siriri oil block which falls entirely on U'wa
traditional land.
Unfortunately, the Colombia government has used an effective divide
and conquer campaign to buy off the campesino organizations in the
region--some of the U'wa's strongest allies.  The campesinos joined
the U'wa in their opposition to the project and helped maintain the
occupation and road blocks that for months throughout 1999 and 2000
prevented Oxy from invading U'wa land.  Under massive pressure from
Ecopetrol, the Colombian government, and the rampant poverty of NE
Colombia, the campesinos have signed an agreement to support oil
development in return for much needed public projects.  This leaves
the U'wa as one of the sole remaining voices of resistance, defending
the fragile cloud forest ecosystems against the devestation of oil
extraction and militarization.
Meanwhile, the situation in Colombia has worsened.  The new ultra
right government of Alvaro Uribe has been back and forth to
Washington lobbying the Bush administration for additional military
aid monies.  The president has also begun a flagship program of
creating a network of civilian informants that will pass information
to the security forces about possible insurgent activities. The
program is based on a similar one he implemented as a governor that
gave rise to the brutal paramilitary armies now responsible for the
majority of massacres in the country and still maintains close ties
with the military.
President Uribe has announced that he will personally oversee efforts
to increase oil investment in the country and the expansion of new
oil exploration. He has declared several areas within Colombia
as "rehabilitation zones" - a permanent state of emergency with
arbitrary arrests, wiretaps, restricted movement of civilian
populations.  The province of OXY's Cano Limon operations and parts
of U'wa ancestral territory are included in the new designation.  A
team of 100 US Special Forces Soldiers are due to arrive in Colombia
in January to begin training the notorious 18th brigade to protect
OXY's pipeline.
As the Bush Administration intensifies the global oil war, indigenous
peoples and civil society of Colombia are the latest innocent victims
who find themselves on the front lines of the escalating "war on
terrorism." It is up to us - activists, organizers, people of
conscious and hope - to break through the information blockade and
let people know the truth of U.S. policy in Colombia and around the
world. The truth is that US involvement in Colombia is driven by the
same addictions as US military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and
around the world : oil.  Guns paid for by US tax dollars kill in
Colombia so that U.S. corporations can make record profits clogging
American highways with SUVs powered by Colombian oil.
Corporate globalization and American militarism are working hand in
hand to destroy cultures, devastate ecosystems around the planet and
literally undermine the global life support systems.  From U'wa land
to the arctic wildlife refuge, from Cancer Alley to Love Canal, from
Nigeria to Iraq, from the dead rivers of the Ecuadorian Amazon to the
ever warming atmosphere above us - oil kills.   It's time to stop the
madness and break the fossil fuel chain of war and destruction.
As we mobilize to stop the war in Iraq, defend our civil liberties,
and stop the racist targeting of Arabs and Arab-Americans, let us
remember to tell the U'wa story. The U'wa have always been clear that
their struggle is not just about one culture or one remote
ecosystem.  As they say it is "a global crusade to defend life". Let
us follow the U'wa's inspiring lead and say: No more wars for oil! No
more corporate rulers who kill for greed and power!  We demand life,
democracy, justice and a future for the U'wa and all peoples who
share our tiny planet.
The U'wa need our help.  They need money.  They need solidarity
actions. They need international human rights observers.  But most of
all they need us to tell the American public the truth about what is
going on in Colombia. Let your friends and neighbors know that their
government is at war in Colombia and that like all the Bush wars its
is a war over oil.  Whether it's a letter to the editor, a community
forum on the links between fossil fuel addiction and war or a protest
at your favorite corporate war monger - take action!
Lots of help will be needed organizing for the next Colombia
mobilization in March. (See #4 below)  Let's get started spreading
the word, building the coalitions and drawing the connections.
Together with the U'wa and people mobilizing around the world we will
stop these corporate oil wars.   La lucha sigue!
Global Ecology!  Global Democracy!  Now!
To be a local contact for the growing movement against the Oil Wars
in Colombia and beyond contact : Kevin@amazonwatch.org  / 510-419-0617
For background info on the U'wa see :
www.uwacolombia.org
www.amazonwatch.org
www.moles.org
2. New York Times  : New Role for U.S. in Colombia: Protecting a
Vital Oil Pipeline
By JUAN FORERO
SARAVENA, Colombia, Sept. 27 - Casting a wary eye for rebel snipers,
Lt. Felipe Z˙˝iga and his counterinsurgency troops slog through the
wet fields and patches of jungle here. Their mission has nothing to
do with drugs - until now, the defining issue in Colombia for
American policy makers - but instead with protecting a pipeline that
carries crude to an oil-hungry America.
The 500-mile pipeline, which snakes through eastern Colombia,
transporting 100,000 barrels of oil a day for Occidental Petroleum of
Los Angeles, is emerging as a new front in the terror war. One of
Colombia's most valuable assets, the pipeline has long been
vulnerable to bombings by Colombia's guerrilla groups, which along
with the country's paramilitary outfits are included on the Bush
administration's list of terrorist organizations.
Sometime in the next month, in a significant shift in American
policy, United States Special Forces will arrive in Colombia to begin
laying the groundwork for the training of Lieutenant Z˙˝iga and his
35-man squad in the finer arts of counterinsurgency. Over the next
two years, 10 American helicopters will bolster the Colombian
counterinsurgency efforts, and some 4,000 more troops will receive
American training, which will begin in earnest in January, Bush
administration and American military officials said in interviews in
recent days.
The policy shift dovetails with the Bush administration's new, global
emphasis on expanding and diversifying the sources of America's oil
imports, with an eye to reducing dependence on Middle Eastern oil.
That new approach, outlined in the administration's energy report
issued last year, is gaining ever more importance with the threat to
Persian Gulf oil supplies from the looming war with Iraq.
The $94 million counterinsurgency program is also an important
element in the offensive by Colombia's new government against two
rebel groups and a paramilitary force that dominate much of the
country. Pipeline bombings by the guerrillas cost the government
nearly $500 million last year - a blow in a country where oil
accounts for 25 percent of revenues. The two main rebel groups, which
view Occidental as a symbol of American imperialism, have bombed the
pipeline 948 times since the 1980's, while extorting oil royalty
payments from local government officials.
The Colombian military has increased security recently, deploying
five of the six battalions in the 6,000-man 18th Brigade to pipeline
protection, up from just two battalions last year. As a result, the
number of bombings has fallen to 30 this year, from 170 the year
before, Colombian military officials say. But the goal is to
eliminate the bombings altogether, they say, and to accomplish that
they need help...
Colombia's new president, ┴lvaro Uribe, also declared Arauca one of
two security zones where military commanders can conduct searches
without warrants, impose curfews and usurp some powers from local
government - measures the United Nations says will erode civil rights.
Bush administration officials have said the reliable production of
oil is imperative if Colombia is to have the resources to combat the
guerrillas and paramilitaries. But oil is also critical to the
national security planning of the United States, which by 2020 will
count on imported oil for 62 percent of its oil needs, up from half
today.
Much of that new oil will come from the Americas, which already
supply the United States with nearly 50 percent of its imported oil.
Along with Venezuela and Ecuador, the Andes now provides the United
States with more than two million barrels a day, about 20 percent of
its imports.
Colombia will never be the sole solution to America's voracious
appetite for oil. But the country is known for high-quality oil that
is cheap to produce and easy to refine, and is thought to have
significant potential reserves that could be rapidly exploited if the
guerrillas and paramilitaries could be brought under control.
"We're becoming increasingly dependent on imported oil, therefore the
strategic goal of diversification has become more and more
important," said Michael Klare, author of "Resource Wars: The New
Landscape of Global Conflict." "The Clinton administration and now
the Bush administration have explicitly stated that that one of the
regions they have wanted to rely on in the future is the Western
Hemisphere."
Many oil analysts say reliance on this region could greatly increase
if the major producer, Venezuela, increased its production capacity
and if Colombia - which shares many of the same geological features
as Venezuela - achieved enough stability to allow widespread
exploration.
"We don't really know what's there," said Ed Corr, a former American
diplomat in Latin America and an expert on the strategic aspects of
petroleum. "But we certainly would be wise in getting the country in
such a situation where we can find out."
Washington's shift to counterinsurgency was made possible in July,
when Congress rolled back restrictions that had limited American aid
to antidrug programs. The drug war continues unabated, but the
phasing out of those prohibition has been warmly welcomed by energy
companies, which have been pressing for a wider role for the United
States to improve the business climate.
"You'll see more interest on the part of more companies," Larry
Meriage, spokesman for Occidental, said in an interview. "Given the
fact that there is a significant amount of oil there, and the sheer
mass of oil that remains under-explored, there is considerable
optimism."
Occidental, well-versed in Colombia's troubles by virtue of its two
decades here, is close to the Bush administration and has long
lobbied for the United States to be more involved in the conflict.
According to the Center for Public Integrity in Washington, the
company contributed $1.5 million to presidential and Congressional
campaigns between 1995 and 2000. Occidental also spent nearly $8.7
million lobbying American officials on Latin America policy, largely
regarding Colombia, from 1996 to 2000, according to disclosure forms
filed with Congress.
Other oil and energy companies also spent handsomely to influence
Colombia policy, with Exxon Mobil Corporation, BP Amoco, the Unocal
Corporation, Texaco and Phillips Petroleum spending about $13 million
among them on Colombia in the same period.
"We see the oil companies leveraging their influence in Washington to
move the United States toward a counterinsurgency policy," said Ted
Lewis of Global Exchange, a San Francisco human rights group that
closely follows business issues here.
Mr. Meriage counters that not taking strong action here could further
weaken Colombia and its neighbors, which are economically dependent
on oil. "We have long highlighted these problems," he said. "You see
the potential danger of an entire Andean region being destabilized by
the problems in Colombia. That's why this is important."
  (note from the listowner:  in Ecuador, the news media carry
frequent stories about United States pressure on Ecuador to get more
directly involved in the counterinsurgency campaign in Colombia,
which, beyond allowing the US to put a military base in Manta,
Ecuador has so far resisted.)
A tour of the Occidental facilities here in Ca˝o Limˇn oil fields
underscores the links between the company and Colombia's military.
The 300 or so troops stationed here wear patches featuring an oil
drilling rig. New motorcycle patrols zip down a network of roads,
while antiguerrilla patrols work their way through the jungle. Light
tanks and heavily fortified bunkers are strategically positioned
along the pipeline to deter attacks. Two military aircraft - a
helicopter and a Cessna - patrol the pipeline with gasoline paid for
by Occidental, and military helicopters carrying troops on operations
often swing by here to fill their fuel tanks. Even the brigade
commander, General Lemus, drinks coffee from a mug bearing the Oxy
logo.
"This is an island of security that we have here, thanks to the
army," said one Occidental official.
The company is now producing nearly twice as much oil as last year at
its 212 wells. It has also signed contracts recently with the state
oil company to explore three additional blocs covering 9,325 square
miles.

3)  Reuters Company News - Colombia empowers military in two parts of
country
Saturday September 21, 5:42 pm ET
By Phil Stewart
BOGOTA, Colombia, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Colombian President Alvaro
Uribe gave the military broad new powers in two sections of his war-
torn nation on Saturday, allowing the armed forces to restrict
civilian movement and conduct warrantless searches.
The zones were the first decreed under the authority of a state of
emergency Uribe declared after taking office in early August -- when
his inauguration ceremony was targeted by rebel mortars that killed
21 people on nearby streets in Bogota.
The government has argued that civil rights must be restricted if it
is to come to grips with a 38-year-old guerrilla war and gain control
of the half of Colombia's territory in the hands of Marxist
guerrillas and far-right paramilitaries. The conflict claims
thousands of lives a year.
"The goal is to achieve greater control over citizens (in the zones)
and, consequently, avoid infiltration by armed groups ... (which)
have been staging tremendous acts of terror and creating
instability," Defense Minister Marta Lucia Ramirez told reporters in
Bogota.
The "Zones of Rehabilitation and Consolidation" cover just 27 of the
country's 1,100 municipalities, including a lawless stretch of
Arauca, a northeastern oil-producing province due to receive special
U.S. military aid.
The other section covers parts of two neighboring northern provinces -
- Bolivar and Sucre.
Ramirez said more zones would be gradually created.
U.S. Green Berets are slated to begin training Colombian soldiers in
Arauca next month to protect Colombia's second-largest oil pipeline,
operated by U.S.-based Occidental Petroleum Inc (NYSE:OXY - News).
The pipeline was bombed 170 times last year by the 5,000-member
National Liberation Army and the 17,000-member Revolutionary Armed
Forces of Colombia -- Latin America's oldest and most powerful rebel
army.
A military commander will have authority over all public forces
within each zone, putting police and the armed forces under a central
command. Foreigners will need government permission to enter the new
zones, and residents will be issued special identification cards to
be carried at all times....
The United States, which has provided more than $1.5 billion in
mainly military aid to Colombia in recent years to fight the cocaine
trade, is enthusiastically backing Uribe, a 50-year-old lawyer
elected on a security platform. Washington brands Colombia's outlawed
fighters terrorists, and recently authorized the Colombians to use
U.S. military aid directly against outlawed armies and not just the
drug trade.
Uribe, who proposes increasing defense spending by a third, or $1
billion, will travel to Washington next week and have a working lunch
with President George W. Bush on Wednesday.
4. WHAT YOU CAN DO
********************
Dear Friends of the Colombia Mobilization,
The National Mobilization on Colombia, a national coalition of
organizations and individuals working to transform U.S. policy toward
Colombia and the Andean region (their mission statement is below) is
calling a spring mobilization that will bring together regional
actions and/or events that target the corporate raiders of Colombia
who promote terror and push war to reap profits. The regional events
will be on March 24, 2003 at Coca-Cola in Atlanta (Southeast region),
Sikorsky in Connecticut (Northeast region),Monsanto in St. Louis
(Midwest region) and Occidental Petroleum in Los Angeles (West Coast
region).  The week following the mobilization, all participants are
encouraged to lobby their representatives in their local districts.
Global Exchange and Amazon Watch, members of the Colombia
Mobilization, have decided to head up the search for a regional
organizing committee for the West Coast/Southwest area.  We need
individuals and organizations to join the planning committee to
organize the action at Occidental Petroleum Headquarters in Los
Angeles.  This event/action will not only target Occidental
Petroleum; it will expose the links between oil, militarization,
trade, U.S. policy and human rights abuses in Colombia.
The organizing committee would be responsible for the following:
PLAN and execute the action in coordination with the 4 other regions
consistent with the Colombia Mobilization Statement and tactics
RAISE money for the regional action
MOBILIZE people for the event
SELECT a representative to the Colombia Mobilization's Leadership Team
conference calls
We are organizing the West Coast/Southwest Regional Coordinating
Committee call for the week of December 2.  If you're interested,
please respond with an ideal DAY and TIME FRAME which works for you.
Also, please let us know which of these options interest you:
-       My organization wants to get involved in the regional
coordinating committee for the Spring Colombia Mobilization, we'll be
on the call!
-       We want to organize a contingent from our area to the Days of
Action on March 24th at Occidental Petroleum Headquarters in Los
Angeles!
-       We don't have time right now but we will get information out
to our networks.
-       Please send us more information.
_____________________ Contact name, number and e-mail
RESPOND TO:
Kevin Koenig of Amazon Watch
510-419-0617 or kevin@amazonwatch.org
Thanks!
To read the Colombia Mobilization Mission Statement and principles,
go to www.colombiamobilization.org