At least 20 protesters were injured Monday when police broke up demonstrations against a dam being built on the Magdalena river.
Hundreds of farmers and indigenous people closed Monday afternoon the main road connecting the southwestern Huila department with the southern Caqueta department in protest over El Quimbo Dam that, once in operation, will flood areas in six municipalities in Huila.
Between 14 and 18 protesters as well as 7 policemen were injured in clashes when police cleared the road, according to several media sources.
This is the second time locals clash with police over the dam. In February, three protesters were injured when police evicted around 600 demonstrators to clear land for the hydro-electric project.
The protesters claim that Emgesa, the company building the dam, did not fulfill its promises to locals regarding compensation for their displacement and is ignoring due process in order to rush the project.
The plant is expected to begin operation in 2014 and could produce enough energy to supply 4% of Colombia’s demand.