For his exhibition El País de los Demás (The Country of Others) at the Galería Arte NC in Bogotá, Fernando Arias invited the curator María Belén Saez de Ibarra to write a text to replace the curatorial statement. The text was based on facts about mining licences and Colombia’s natural resources that are are being sold off to national and multinational companies.
COLOMBIA – COLUMBIA
By María Belén Saes de Ibarra
Few people know that Colombia is a country of forests. Almost two- thirds of the country are forests. The forests are dense, enclosed, layered, more than twenty meters high. Two-third’s of the planet’s biodiversity are present in these forests and the forests are the source of much of the world’s sweet water. Chocó, Catatumbo, El tapón del Darién and Amazonia.
Amazonia represents one-third of the country and is the most impenetrable of the Amazonian world. It is inhabited by many ethnic indigenous groups with their many languages. It is estimated that there are more than 80,000 species of plants. Colombian Amazonia is part of the largest forest reserve on the planet. It has 20% of the world’s bird species. Here reigns the jaguar amongst the incalculable fauna in its rivers and trees.
Colombia has decided to live from eco-tourism and use traditional methods to exploit its natural resources, taking control of the environment to guarantee the equilibrium of its vast and fragile eco-system. This allows its bio-diverse systems to regenerate.
The Kyoto Treaty established this region as the lungs of the world, so in a world that is drained, this is one of the few countries that can live from its natural riches, under the condition of preserving this forest treasure without altering its fine natural balance. Each of the International Community member countries gives funds annually to Colombia as an environmental tax. This is considered the most sophisticated and beautiful country in the world.
Thanks to its indigenous ancestral cultures, Colombia learned to manage and respect the earth. Different forms of living and thinking exist in Colombia alongside its immense biodiversity. Here there is everything for everyone.
Few people know that Columbia is a country of mines. Almost two- thirds of the country are being exploited for mining. The mines are dense, enclosed, layered, more than twenty meters in depth. Mines alter the diversity of the planet and impact on the world’s sweet water.
Amazonia contains a third of the country’s mining reserves, almost 18 million hectares. This is almost exclusively exploited by multi- national companies. Its riches lie underground, where there is an abundance of gold, uranium, platinum, iron and coltan.
Columbia has decided to live from mining and exploit its natural resources, taking control of the environment without guaranteeing the equilibrium of its once vast and fragile eco-system. Illegal armed groups have found in mining a new source of income, that combined with illegal mining, generates exploitation at such a speed that the earth’s bio-diverse systems are unable to regenerate.
The International Community frequently meet in conferences about poverty and search within its members for ways to charitably support people who’s poverty reaches 80%. There is no food in the countryside. Provisions are imported thanks to the free market trade agreements that make it cheaper. It is considered one of the most dangerous and poorest countries.
Thanks to its privileged mining situation, Columbia has learned to exploit its resources to the maximum, with the help of international experts that come from countries that displace their mining to third world territories. Here everyone does what they want and everything is for others. Columbia is a mining paradise, without an owner, that lives off the prey of others and is happy with the emptiness of that nothingness that lies in the subsoil.