The Colombian government announced that it will investigate the controversial construction of the Quimbo hydroelectric plant after vehement civilian protests that took place this Saturday in the southwestern Huila department.
The Colombian Prosecutor General’s Office and the Inspector General’s Office along with the support of Bogota‘s mayor Gustavo Petro, will launch an investigation into the Spanish energy company Emgesa’s El Quimbo hydroelectric project, which has been the epicenter of protests and controversy with locals and environmentalists.
Hundreds of protestors including local farmers, fisherman, and environmental activists as well as students from the University Surcolombiana, marched in the capital of Huila this Saturday. The protest turned violent when protesters began throwing stones at the police and teargas was used to disperse the crowd.
“In this scenario we have a preventative role to work for the needs and urgencies involving the defense of the public and the environment,” reported the Prosecutor General’s Office to local media.
The Quimbo project requires a dam that would flood five towns, displacing hundreds of locals and causing significant environmental damage.
Those that are in favor of the project claim that as the second largest hydroelectric plant in Latin America, it would bring money, work, and political power to Colombia.