Prayers for Peacemakers, 26 October 2018 Colombia

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Pray that the people who have political power and who are pushing for oil extraction with fracking will open their hearts, and see that these methods are extremely harmful and that we should look for healthier, more sustainable alternatives for human development. Pray for the communities that are building a movement of resistance to the destruction of the environment and life. Pray for those who commit to the defense of life and the environment, as their work is fundamental to achieve lasting peace.

Conventional petroleum reserves are in clear decline. All types of oil exploration, and the use of fuels, are highly polluting, as is well known. Oil companies have developed alternative techniques to continue production and meet ever-growing demand. The states are doing everything possible to convince society that it is essential to continue with oil exploitation. Moreover, states carry on with this agenda regardless of social consent. One of the techniques that is being developed globally is fracking, a method that has proven to be highly destructive to the environment.

In the Department of Cesar, Colombia, the company Conocophillips has carried out explorations and conducted public debates in order to initiate exploitation by means of fracking. The community expressed strong opposition to this technique, but neither the company nor the state have turned back. The local environmentalist organization GEAM (Magdalena Medio Extractive and Environmental Studies Group) is alerting the local society about the consequences of fracking in other countries, informing communities of the irreversible damages that have been caused to surface and underground water bodies. Water is necessary for life and it is a fundamental right, but in Colombia life continues to be violated: by a 6-decades-long armed conflict and by extractive policies for which only the state and companies are responsible.

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