viernes, enero 22, 2016

Polinizando con el Comité Salvemos al Río Baché


 Durante diciembre del año pasado se celebró un evento de socialización de la campaña gráfica de Mesoamérica Resiste en la vereda de San Miguel,  Municipio de Santa María, Huila. El taller fue realizado para los integrantes del Comité Salvemos al Río Baché, habitantes campesinas quienes actualmente se han movilizado en contra de los proyectos hidroeléctricos planeados por la Electrificadora del Huila S.A. Electrohuila para el río Baché. El mismo busca construir dos centrales , una a la altura del municipio de Santa María y otra a la altura de la vereda El Socorro. Las céntrales eléctricas a diferencia de las hidroeléctricas se hacen en valles menos estrechos y normalmente no tiene embalses o implican la canalización de los ríos. Hay una oposición a todas estos proyectos de generación eléctrica por que es para generar la energía necesario para proyectos de industrialización y extracción de recursos que perjudica el territorio y sus habitantes.

Nueve días antes de dicho taller, la comunidad de Santa María recibió el aviso de una visita de la Corporación Autónoma Regional del Alto Magdalena, CAM, cuyos integrantes planeaban venir con Electrohuila para realizar unos estudios de viabilidad en la zona. Desde las 8 de la mañana la comunidad de Santa María salió a la vía, a la espera de esa visita no tan bienvenida  ya que, en abril del 2015 –durante una audiencia pública—, la comunidad había expresado claramente su rechazo al proyecto y a una concesión de 50 años del río Bache y afluentes. Es decir, se opuso a la entrega de las fuentes hídricas de su municipio al sector privado.

Aun así, la CAM, Electrohuila y HMV ingenieros, mantuvieron su visita técnica a la zona en donde se construiría una de las  micro-centrales proyectadas. Como resultado,  unas 1000 personas de la comunidad afectada por dicho proyecto  se tomaron la vía, dejando claro que no lo permitirían.

Durante la toma, la comunidad declaró  ante los medios que: “no permitimos el ingreso por que  el Estado no defiende los intereses del campesino, sino entrega la soberanía nacional a las empresas multinacionales y nacionales que destruyen todo a su paso por la ambición de una energía y minerales que no es para nosotros pero si la destrucción del tejido social y el ambiente.”

Al compartir Mesoamérica Resiste, se abrió un espacio en donde las personas que lucharon y continúan luchando por la liberación del río Baché aprendieron sobre situaciones similares que han ocurrido varias veces a lo largo de la historia del país, el continente Abya Yala - Americano  y el mundo, y como las mismas pueden influir en su situación actual. Asimismo, le queda claro al Electrohuila, la CAM, Emgesa y todas las otras empresas generadoras de electricidad que, en la medida que vayan a realizar visitas técnicas para desarrollar represas adicionales, se encontrarán con comunidades movilizadas,  listas para expulsarlas o para plenamente prevenir su entrada, porque a través de la región la misma posición se mantiene: ¡Ni una represa más!

sábado, enero 16, 2016

Pollinating at Tripido Fest (San Cristóbal, Bogotá)


Bees from the Beehive Collective were present in the 5th Tripido Fest on December 5th, 2015 in the 20 de julio neighborhood Fair in San Cristobal, Bogotá.  The Tripido Fest included performances by musicians, graffiti and mural artists as well as workshops on social cartography, conscientious objection to military service, theater and graffiti. 

The Tripido Fest is born in 2011 as a result of the killing of Diego Felipe Becerra on August 19th of that same year. Diego Felipe, better known as Tripido in the Capitol City graffiti scene, was killed by officers of the national police. Tripido was a young teen who through art expressed his own perspective of reality, though due to the negative stigma towards youth, repression and police brutality took his life away.

The Tripido is a process led by the Tejido Juvenil, Tejuntas, an organization that seeks to create visibility, discuss and denounce the stigmas and criminalization of youth and simultaneously contribute to the building of a youth movement in the Capitol District.

What is TRIPIDO FEST?

It is a Festival that creates a space for the coming together of different musical bands, artistic groups, theater, dance, urban art, and other youth cultural expressions. All of these participants coming from their own urban territories and organizational spaces present alternatives to the militarization of life, working to rebuild social fabric within a setting of political and armed conflict that has devastated local neighborhoods and communities.



The Festival is named after graffiti artist Diego Felipe Becerra´s tag, Tripido. Becerra was killed by the Officer Wilmer Alarcon on August 19th, 2011 while he was painting an image on the intersection of 116 Street and Boyaca Avenue. The Tripido Fest is also a space for the memory of Tripido -Diego Felipe- cabe Totti Beat –Gerson Martínez- , Carlos Enrique Ruiz 1 and all the youth killed, beaten, and disappeared in a society the oppresses its young people with structural and material precision.  This same society notorious for unequal in access to health, education, culture, recreation and sports, especially for the youth from lower income neighborhoods who daily fall under the weight of the injustice of the police state, that criminalizes  and buses them with the mobile brigades known as the UPJ. Not to mention the oppression of forced military service that becomes a pretext to chase down young people in the streets of their neighborhoods or the mass transit Transmilenio stations, whenever there are recruitment brigades.

The Tripido Fest has two purposes. In one sense it is territorial, because we believe that our neighborhoods, the marginal areas of the city need to have more cultural and artistic spaces that are open to everyone’s participation, open to our own forms of expression without us being targeted or marginalized. It is territorial because it opens a space that allows for our neighbors that regardless of difficulties, young people can offer positive things to the community such as their talents and to recognize that most young people want a respectable environment and life for their neighborhood.  

Youth are like seeds that germinate, and are full of life wanting to sing, dance, play, act, run, enjoy. For these reasons the festivals are done in different neighborhoods every year throughout the entire city, such as in Bosa, Kennedy, Usme and for this fifth edition in San Cristobal. 

Simultaneously, Tripido Fest is also a District Festival, because through it local urban youth are able to put on stage and show on the walls the talent of the young people from the different neighborhoods and localities within the capital District. We create a space of gathering for the district that seeks to bring together youth from all the neighborhoods with the objective to show that the everyday reality lived by a young person in Suba shares similarities with a youth in Usme, and for that reason, oppressed and impoverished young people need to generate processes and organizational spaces to build collective movements from their own reality for all of society.

Who organizes Tripido Fest?

The Tripido Fest is organized by the National Youth Fabric transforming Society known as, TEJUNTAS.  TEJUNTAS is a national organization that brings together youth collectives and organizations around 6 points:

1) A life free of militarization;
2) work with dignity for young people;
3) for land, territory, and sovereignty;
4) for culture, art and popular communication;
5) for youth participation in politics and the building of people power; and
6) for peace and a political solution to the conflict.


Within in TEJUNTAS comes together a part of those young people who want to have dignified lives in the neighborhoods of Bogotá, coming from the neighborhoods of the localities of Bosa, Kennedy, Usaquén, Suba, Engativá, Fontibón, Ciudad Bolívar and San Cristóbal. As an organization TEJUNTAS considers that young people have the capacity to propose viable alternatives for the country and halt the projects that bring precariousness to the lives within the Capitol District territories. In addition to organizations of youth, students, workers, peasant farmers, women, environmentalists and others, we participate in the Congress of the Peoples; a legislative peoples´ proposal of how to build a country with livable and dignified conditions as well as a life of harmony with nature. 

viernes, enero 15, 2016

MID ATLANTIC POLLINATING RÍOS VIVOS TOUR KICKS OFF TODAY!!!!!!



The Beehive Design Collective and Movimiento Ríos Vivos presents a multimedia journey about arts, media and land defense in South America with original photographs, maps and short films accompanied by live narration. Pollinating Rios Vivos shares a glimpse into communities that are defending their territories in the face of resource extraction industries. 

Come to hear stories from Ríos Vivos Colombia, a social movement made up of communities impacted by dams that are struggling in the defense of their territories and rivers, and seek an energy model by and for the people. You will also learn about the work of Polinizaciones, a Beehive grassroots process that collaborates with communities impacted by resource extraction through the use of arts, culture, and communications as strategies for land defense.

We’ll be traveling with the giant art murals of Mesoamérica Resiste, a fully stocked distro of activist art, Ríos Vivos t-shirts and caps, handicrafts from territories in resistance, stories, films, and experiences to share.

También se ofrece talleres en castellano. 

For more information please contact: polinizaciones@gmail.com 


:::::::::NEW YORK CITY:::::
January 15: Bushwick- Brooklyn @ Make the Road New York 6:30 PM  (301 Grove Street) 

January 17: Bushwick-Brooklyn @ The BASE 7 PM (1302 Myrtle Avenue @ Stockholm) 

January 18: Brooklyn @ Rabbithole Projects 7 PM (33 Washington Street)

January 19: Lower East Side, NYC @ Bluestockings Bookstore 7 PM (172 Allen St) 

:::::::::PHILADELPHIA::::::::
January 21: South Philadelphia @ Wooden Shoe 4:30-6 PM (youth focused event) & 
7-9pm (general public) (704 South Street) 

January 25: West Philadelphia @ Knotsquat 7 PM (4821 Baltimore Ave) 

January 26: North Philadelphia @ Temple U 1 PM (Womens Studies Loungue)

:::::::::WASHINGTON DC:::::::::::
(2443 Massachusetts Ave NW)

January 29:  Washington DC @ American University´s  Sustainable Development Week  3:30 PM (Bender Library, Room 115)

lunes, enero 04, 2016

Polinizando en Tripido Fest (San Cristóbal, Bogotá)




Abejas del Colectivo la Colmena estuvo en la quinta edición del TRIPIDO FEST el 5 de diciembre del 2015 en la Feria del 20 de julio en la localidad de San Cristóbal en Bogotá con artistas musicales, intervenciones de grafiti y muralismo además de talleres de: cartografía, objeción de consciencia, teatro y grafiti.

El Tripido Fest nace en el año 2011 a raíz de la muerte de Diego Felipe Becerra el 19 de agosto de ese mismo año. Diego Felipe, más conocido como Trípido en la escena grafitera capitalina, fue asesinado por parte de agentes de la policía nacional. Tripido era un joven que por medio del arte expresaba su perspectiva de la realidad, pero la estigmatización juvenil, la represión y el abuso policial acabaron con su vida.

EL TRIPIDO es una iniciativa liderada por el Tejido Juvenil, Tejuntas, organización que busca visibilizar, discutir y rechazar la criminalización y estigmatización de la juventud y a su vez, aportar a la construcción de un movimiento juvenil en el distrito.

¿Qué es el TRIPIDO FEST?
Es un festival que se proyecta como espacio de articulación de bandas, agrupaciones artísticas, teatro, danza, arte urbano y demás expresiones culturales juveniles que, desde sus territorios y espacios organizativos, plantean alternativas a la militarización de la vida, trabajando en procura de reconstruir el tejido social que el conflicto social, político y armado ha roto en nuestros barrios y localidades.

El Festival lleva por nombre el Tag del grafitero Diego Felipe Becerra, asesinado por el Intendente Wilmer Alarcón, el 19 de agosto de 2011, mientras se encontraba realizando un grafiti en la intersección de la calle 116 con av. Boyacá. En este sentido, El Tripido Fest es también un espacio para la memoria, pues en el nombre de Tripido -Diego Felipe- cabe Totti Beat –Gerson Martínez- , Carlos Enrique Ruiz 1 y todos los jóvenes asesinados, golpeados y desaparecidos en una sociedad que violenta a su juventud popular de manera estructural y material. Pues, además de ser notoria la desigualdad en el acceso a la salud, la educación, la cultura, la recreación y el deporte, sobre los jóvenes de barrio popular cae a diario el peso del aparato policial y de justicia, que criminaliza y maltrata a través de la UPJ, de igual modo, las perspectivas de futuro se nos ven atravesadas por el Servicio Militar Obligatorio, que nos acorrala en las esquinas de los barrios y en los Portales de Transmilenio cuando hay jornadas de enlistamiento.

El Tripido Fest tiene un doble carácter. Por un lado, es territorial, porque creemos que nuestros barrios, la periferia de la ciudad, requieren multiplicar los escenarios culturales y artísticos donde poder participar, desde nuestras propias formas de expresión, sin ser señalados o marginados. Es territorial porque abre un espacio para mostrarles a nuestros vecinos que, a pesar de las dificultades, la juventud puede aportarle a la comunidad desde sus talentos, y un porcentaje importante de la juventud quiere un proyecto de vida digna para el barrio. La juventud es semilla que ya germina, que quiere la vida, la canta, la baila, la juega, la actúa, la corre, la disfruta. Por esta razón los festivales los hemos realizado de forma itinerante en varias de las localidades de la ciudad: Bosa, Kennedy, Usme y para esta quinta versión lo realizaremos en la localidad de San Cristóbal. A su vez, El Tripido Fest también es un Festival Distrital, porque por medio de este ponemos en tarima y plasmamos en paredes los talentos de jóvenes de varias localidades, generamos un espacio de encuentro distrital que pretende hacer confluir a la juventud de distintos barrios en uno sólo, bajo el objetivo de hacer evidente que la realidad cotidiana que vive un/a joven en Suba, comparte elementos similares en Usme y que por esta razón, la juventud empobrecida debe generar mecanismos y espacios organizativos para buscar salidas y construir propuestas colectivas desde ella misma hacia la sociedad.

Quién organiza el Tripido Fest
El Tripido Fest es organizado desde el 2011, año de la muerte de Diego Felipe Becerra, por el
Tejido Juvenil Nacional Transformando la Sociedad –en adelante TEJUNTAS-.  TEJUNTAS es una organización nacional que articula colectivos y organizaciones juveniles alrededor de seis puntos:
1) Por una vida libre de militarización;
2) por un trabajo digno para la juventud;
3) por tierras, territorios y soberanías;
4) por cultura, arte y comunicación popular;
5) por la participación política de la juventud y construcción de poder popular; y
6) por la paz y la solución política al conflicto.

En TEJUNTAS confluye una parte de esa juventud que quiere vida digna para el barrio, por eso, en la Ciudad de Bogotá tenemos presencia en Bosa, Kennedy, Usaquén, Suba, Engativá, Fontibón, Ciudad Bolívar y San Cristóbal. Como organización consideramos que los jóvenes estamos en capacidad de proponerle al país alternativas que le hagan frente a los proyectos que precarizan la vida de nuestros territorios, por ello, junto con otras organizaciones juveniles, estudiantiles, sindicales, campesinas, de mujeres, ambientales, conformamos el Congreso de los pueblos, una propuesta de legislación popular para construir un país que viva en condiciones de dignidad y en armonía con la naturaleza.

Pollinating the Cultural Center of the Gaitan Neighborhood in Bucaramanga


The Cultural Center of the Gaitan Neighborhood is in the comuna 4 of the city of Bucaramanga. The area is composed of some residential neighborhoods surrounded by automobile mechanic garages, small factories and industry.  It opened its doors in November 2012 as a popular library eventually becoming a space for different cultural activities.

The center is dedicated to self-reliance and DIY- do it yourself, fostering a space where different activities can occur that all promote unity and struggle again the current political and economic model. It is a space that seeks to establish other types of relationships based in mutual aid and recognition.

The cultural center is a space that seeks to destroy coercive relationships and against the idea of institutional authority and creates incentive for individual and collective development by means of direct action and social mobilizations.

The space has continued to function without interruptions, periodically realizing activities that seek to nurture the proposals coming from different participants and both individual and collective development.

A cultural center with open doors where humbly the ideas and offerings from different peoples who have visited from different places from the Latin American geography have been received.

Overcoming all adversities, this initiative has gone where its love for life and freedom have enabled it to. Where those people who are seeking freedom and support the struggle against a system that is totally immoral, criminal and unjust will always welcome.

martes, diciembre 22, 2015

Getting to know our great family in the Movimiento Rios Vivos (Living Rivers Movement): Pollinating with the Social Movement for the Defense of the Sogamoso River


Photos: Social Movement for the Defense of the Sogamoso river,  Carolina Caycedo & Polinizaciones

From our initial connection with the process of the people affected by the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project, we've been able to build relationships with the entire Ríos Vivos Movement. The Ríos Vios Movement is the process of the communities affected by dams in Colombia which also pushes for a new energy model for and by the peoples. Even though in Colombia there is more than 200,000 people directly affected by dams, the regional processes organized by watershed that are prominent within the Movement are the Cauca River canyon (Antioquia), the Upper Cauca/ Lower Ovejas (North of Cauca), the Lower Sinú (Córdoba), Upper Magdalena and the Colombian Massif (Huila), and the Sogamoso and Fonce Rivers (Santander).

The movement was born in 2011 and is composed of women and men of all ages, peasant farmers, fisher people, artisinal miners, indigenous people, Afro-descendants and mixed peoples. Coming from the last Political School, which was held in La Jagua last year, we deepened our relationships with other regional processes in the Movement. In the school's third session we had the opportunity to meet and share with all the members of the Movement on El Ramo creek in the area affected by the Hidrosogamoso Dam in the Department of Santander.

Going up the western foothills of the Andean eastern mountain range,  inside the National Natural Park Serranía de los Yariguíes, the mountainous system with the highest altitude in the western foothills of the Andes eastern mountain range of Colombia, is the birthplace of the Sogamoso river formed from the union of the Chicamocha and the Suarez rivers. The Sogamoso basin is fed by smaller watersheds such as the Paramera Creek, Los Medios Creek, Chucurí river,  Las Cruces and el Ramo Creeks amongst others. The communities who live in the Sogamoso basin have done so through a variety of labors including fishing, artisanal mining and agriculture, cultivating coffee, cacao, plantain, yuca, avocado, citrus and other fruits. All of these practices have been jeopardized by Hidrosogamoso.

The Sogamoso basin from its formation in the Yariguíes mountain range until its mouth in the Yuma river (Magdalena) passes through ecosystems such as mountain top moors, Andean forests, sub-andean forests and humid tropical forests. This variety of ecosystems is the habitat for a great diversity of plant species, many in danger of extinction, such as oak (Quercus humboldtii) and other trees such as the; Orphanodendron bernalli, Pitcairnia petraea,  Asteraceaes Espeletia incana, Tamania chardonii,  Lessingianthus yariguierum, Hebeclinium squamosum and Condylopodium hyalinifolium, this last one being endemic to the North-eastern Andes in Colombia.

Animals of the area include endemic species such as a subspecies of the night  monkey (Aotus cf. lemurinus), the runcha squirrel (Microsciurus santanderensis), the little Andean poisonous frog (Ranitomeya virolinensis), the Santander partridge (Odontophorus strophium), the blue-beaked curassow (Crax alberti) and the yariguíes wild sparrow (Atlapetes latinuchus yariguierum).

There is also the presence of animas species such as the brown spider monkey (Ateles hybridus), the spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus),  the neotropical river otter (Lontra longicaudis), the jaguar (Panthera onca), the pakarana (Dinomys branickii), the white-lipped peccary (Tayassu pecari), the little red brocket deer (Mazama rufina), and a wide variety of bats, fish, birds, invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians are also present.

We have also seen Isagen undertake what they refer to as “ecological endeavors” for the “protection of the environment”.  At first sight these efforts seem to be of goodwill, though looks can be deceiving. AS we have seen with Conservation International (CI) and the coal mine Cerrejón as well as the Natura Foundation with the Quimbo Hydroelectric Project, companies have used these types of projects to ¨greenwash¨ their image, attempting to appear that they do good for the environment. All of this while companies continue to exploit natural beings, calling them ¨natural resources¨, of which their extraction projects depend on.

Such have been the collaborations of Isagen and Hidrosogamoso with the National Parks System of Colombia and the Fondo Patrimonio Natural (Fund of National Patrimony) in the Yariguíes National Park. The Fondo Patrimonio Natural is an organization that focuses on acquiring and restoring ecosystems in Colombia with the help of organizations such as The World Bank, The Nature Conservancy, The World Wildlife Fund, International Conservation, USAid, and businesses such as Emgesa, Isagen, and Bavaria.

A report created by these organizations titled Huella Yariguíes (Footprints of the Yaguirí people), details great amount of endemic biodiversity in risk of extinction that can be found in the Serrania. In addition, the report calculates that this ecosystem provides 17.000.000 square meters of water per year to the Magdalena River. It also notes that in the year 2011 Isagen financed a diagnostic for an ecological restoration in the Yariguíes National Park  with a cost of COP $96.583,000 (USD $33,222.620).

Once the diagnostic was completed, Isagen funded the ecological restoration of 8,000 hectares, of which 4,000 will be located in the buffer zone of the reservoir and 4,057 inside of the Yariguíes National Park with an investment of COP $12.498,000,000 (USD $4,299,062.0400). Part of this restoration aims to connect the protection zone of the Hidrosogamoso reservoir by a conservation corridor running between the Serrania La Paz and the creek El Ramo. This ecological restoration also began in 2011 and culminated in November this year.

The construction of Hidrosogamoso, is located on the Sogamoso river, which forms a canyon that connects to the Serranía de la Paz, 75 km above the river mouth in the Magdalena river. The dam has an installed capacity of 829 mW that will produce 5.056 kW/year. It is 190 meters tall and 345 meter wide at the top, with a spillway 72 meters wide. The reservoir, currently the biggest in the country, covers about 7.000 Ha of the municipalities of Girón, Betulia (where the dam construction is located) Zapatoca, Los Santos and San Vicente de Chucurí.

The construction company and owner of Hidrosogamoso is Isagen, headquartered in Medellín and linked to the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Colombia. Isagen is the third largest producer of energy in the country with a share of 16% in the National Electric System (SIN). It has an capacity of 2.212 mW distributed among five power stations, one thermal and additional 150 mW a result of the interconnection with Venezuela.

The desperation of the population in the region impacted by the destruction caused by Hidrosogamoso came together in 2008 to form the Movimiento Social por la Defensa del Rio Sogamoso(Social Movement for the Defense of the Sogamoso River). It has since then denounced social, cultural, economic and environmental impacts in the peasant-farmer and fish-people communities through strikes, marches, lawsuits, public hearings, forums, public denouncements within the region, as well as throughout the country and abroad.

In 2009 Isagen started the construction of the dam and in early 2011,when the Sogamoso river was diverted, the peoples impacted by the construction went on a strike from March 14-16. This strike forced Isagen to meet with the affected communities who did not demobilize until a 17-point agreement was reached, of which Isagen has not kept any of their commitments.

Instead of listening to those who were affected, Isagen and the government of Santander disregard the proof and facts that were made public and at no point have they acknowledge much less denounced the persecution, labeling of « terrorists » and death threats against local organizers. Since 2009 various social leaders near the Sogamoso river have been killed, crimes that remain unpunished.

On October 31st, 2012, Miguel Angel Pabon Pabon, leader and founding member of the Social Movement in Defense of the Sogamoso River and the Movimiento Rios Vivos, was disappeared from San Vicente de Chucurí. Colleagues carried out brigades searching desperately for Miguel Angel, whose disappearance was reported and generated solidarity actions in more than 80 countries.

Miguel Angel, father of two girls, lived in the municipality of San Vicente de Chucuri, where he devoted his life to the defense of the river, the environment and the peasant-farmers and fisher-people of the Middle Magdalena. Miguel Angel was last seen on October 31, when conducting a community workshop regarding a fumigation that would occur due to an outbreak of dengue.

Since 2014, their has been a law suit in  Santander for the damages caused to the environment and to the rights of collective reparations. However, the company has refused to give clear answers to over 2000 families and worst, to the communities downstream of the dam. As in the case of La Playa, it refuses to recognize the impacts downstream of the dam wall, therefore there is no damage to repair or necessity of relocations, according to the company.

Similar to the case of the Quimbo, the area of the Hidrosogamoso dam converges several fault lines that have increased tremors, jeopardizing all communities downstream of the dam and seriously damaging the psychological state of the communities that the company refuses to recognize as affected down river.

In 2014 Isagen started filling the reservoir, which was completed in six months, generating energy for the National Electric System. In June, during filling, there was a failure with the gates of the Hidrosogamoso dam and the Sogamoso river downstream remained dry for more than 10 hours. The company announced this disaster to have had no major impact resulting in only a few hundred dead fish. However, the disaster left the river so low that humans could walk across and in reality thousands of fish died.

The nerve of Isagen’s lies regarding this disaster caused by the company´s  incompetence, led the river´s inhabitants;  fisher-people, farmers, and miners to block the main highway to the Middle Magdalena region preventing the passage in the area. Residents of the area received death threats because of these actions.


Another idiotic mistake caused by Isagen´s incompetence was in late 2014. The company did not remove the needed biomass from the flood zone before the filling. This resulted in the decomposition of trees and vegetation, emitting methane gas and hydrogen sulfide producing strong odors and health problems throughout the population surrounding the reservoir.

The rotting of this biomass and the subsequent smell resulted in the loss of water quality, nausea, vomiting, headaches, skin infections and hair loss in the region´s population. Following this, affected river dwellers mobilized again and the Santander Administrative Court ordered the company to remove the biomass from the reservoir in less than 6 months.

Following the constant string of abuses of the company left unpunished by the State and the government of Santander, on Monday, March 16, 2015, the March of Women started with just over 50 women of the Social Movement in Defense of the Sogamoso River, marching towards Bucaramanga to demand the rights of affected families.

After three days they took the main park of Bucaramanga in front of the Department Capital Building, living in provisional tents made of plastic and cardboard. In the park, they have had to put up with the need to go to the bathroom all night as they had no bathrooms around. Even in these inhospitable  conditions, the women stood there demanding their rights since back home in their communities, there is nothing left, they have nowhere to return to.

Women and their families campedfor more than 90 days in the city center, where the police harassed them and they had depend on the solidarity of a a few Bumangueses (People from Bucaramanga). All this while the Governor Richard Aguilar has refused to talk to them. After three months in the park, the women chained themselves to the entrance of the Capitol Building where the police forcibly removed them and since then have denied them entry to the government.

The third session of the political school of Rios Vivos came to this scene. The first day of school was spent in the park accompanying the members of the Social Movement for the Defense of the Sogamoso River in what was their day to day in this place. Some people pass by, greet and sometimes bring food contributions. But overall, most of the people are apathetic, not looking and not interested in their equals who have been forced to take these methods of directs action to demand their rights.

The next day the people who participated in the school moved to a farm on the El Ramo creek. All along the drive to the farm, the reservoir could be seen. Even though it had been way over 3 months from the ruling of the Administrative Court of Santander, it was very apparent that Isagen had not yet chopped down, much less removed the biomass in the flooded area.

Once the was reservoir filled the water level dropped slightly and left a 5 or 6 meter wide ring around reservoir of dead vegetation. The mountain peaks within the reservoir that are now islands show a steady erosion of their borders that have led to sink holes and the earth moving under the new road created by Isagen as the old road was left under water. The remaining fish in the reservoir are grouped near the mouths of the Sogamoso river, the Chucurí river, and the  El Ramo creek, desperately seeking oxygen since the relatively still reservoir and the rotting vegetation have created an anaerobic environment without oxygen.

The people who lived on the farm that hosted the school told us that when the filling of the reservoir began, a multitude of animals were fleeing from the rising water. Animals that had never been seen before in that area like monkeys, aguoti and ocelots who faced the farm dogs and had to fight them to survive. The farmers understand the despair of fleeing animals and let them eat their crops and fruits, leaving farmers without food or products to sell.

Since the filling was completed, the avocado trees bloom, they begin to bear fruit but almost all of it dries and falls off before they can ripen. None of the agricultural projects that Isagen supported in the surrounding areas of the reservoir have worked and the company has had to compensate the affected peoples in the area by creating pig farms and livestock projects since the crops haven’t been able to adapt to the drastic climate change.

Like in previous schools, the people of each region had the opportunity to participate in the construction of collective knowledge since a basic tenants of the school is that no one knows everything and everyone has something to contribute to this group work. Among the presentations, exercises and group dynamics, mystic- spiritual activities, bartering of seeds, we also took the time to refresh ourselves in El Ramo creek  since the ambient humidity was something higher because of the resevoir.

All of the school had sessions between avocado trees, where we were visited by a variety of animals such as lizards, herons, iguanas and many small birds such as a variety of tanagers. One day during the Ríos Vivos school in La Jagua we had the chance to display Mesoamerica Resiste banner, but being the hosts and coordinators with Decolonizing La Jagua and Asoquimbo of the school, no to mention the art activities and actions for the defense of territory as part of Geochoreographies, we didn’t have the opportunity to share the banner  or the experience of the Beehive Design Collective, this time we did.

Some of the processes and people of the movement were already familiar with the Beehive Collective graphic campaigns, such as the communities of the Lower Ovejas in Northern Cauca where we first visited in 2008. In this school session, we could present the work of the hive and provide a didactic explanation of the meaning and methodological process of creating Mesoamerica Resists. In this space, where all the processes were involved, the strategies that were highlighted of most interest was the process against La Parota dam in Guerrero, Mexico, that has over 10 years of popular resistance that has not allowed the construction company to enter machinery to the region of interest.

The focus of this school was the importance to "remain in the territory", this was highlighted in several scenes of the graphic campaign such as in the scenes that relate to ; the solidarity economy, cooperatives, productive projects, and seed banks. Regarding the cooperatives and barter we also  spoke of "time banks" that exist in other countries. Although the time was short and thus rushed to share Mesoamérica Resiste, the work had a positive reception, the explanation reinforced topics discussed earlier about the failures of the current energy model and those present were left with the task to answer the following questions for the next school : Do you believe that this method of telling stories through graphics useful? And…  Do you think that the story of the communities and the Movimiento Rios Vivos can be told in this way?

For next year the bees are safeguarding pollen and honey for an epic tour that we're preparing, Polinizando Rios Vivos (Pollinating Living Rivers). Starting in 2016 we will take off from our home in the Alto Magdalena to begin a journey of more than two years in the territories of the Movimiento Rios Vivos.

In order to help consolidate and strengthen the movement to which we belong, we want to offer our drops of honey of support to all regions affected by dams and striving to live in territories of flowing rivers and free peoples. All this through works of ; art trainings and actions, creation of journalistic material, self documentation of affected biodiversity and political education. Through these tangible contributions we will help to boost regional processes of the movement as we have in other regions we have worked in.

Polinizando Ríos Vivos will keep an eye on its schools’ next responses  and will also carry out the first round of research for the creation of a graphic campaign, by and for the communities affected and resisting the dams in Colombia, a graphic about the Movimiento Ríos Vivos Colombia.

For those interested in supporting the Polinizando Ríos Vivos initiative and the formation of a graphic campaign of the Movimiento Rios Vivos-Colombia, you can contact the pollination bees at: polinizaciones@gmail.com.