Bogotá, November 21 (EFE) .- The Colombian Environment Minister, Luis Gilberto Murillo, assured today that the Government has not authorized or authorized the mining exploitation in the páramos, principal reserve of fresh water of the country.
"It is not being done nor is going to do mining in the páramos," Murillo told reporters as he stepped out of the controversy surrounding a mining project in the vicinity of the páramo de Santurbán, in the department of Santander (northeast).
Speaking to journalists, the minister stressed today that "at no time He has neglected the protection of the water of the Colombians of Santander and Bucaramanga. "
He also charged the mayor of Bucaramanga, Rodolfo Hernández, who rejects the mining project and He has shown his criticism to the Government.
Hernandez affirmed yesterday in an interview with El Espectador that President Juan Manuel Santos will be remembered in his town for leaving them "without water" and He said he felt "betrayed" by feeling that the government has already agreed to "actions with their backs to the community."
Minister Murillo accused the president of the departmental capital of Santander of "demagogy" and "environmental populism".
"The statements of the mayor (Bucaramanga) have no basis in reality, they are irresponsible and uninformed statements", He said.
The conflict arose when the Minesa project, whose main shareholder is the Mubadala fund of the Arab Emirates, requested a license to develop a mining operation. of gold extraction in the vicinity of the páramo, a protected natural region that also provides water to nearby municipalities.
"The Minesa project is outside of that páramo, "said the minister and added that" there is no activity or licensing process in any area "of the protected area.
Precisely, the Constitutional Court repealed two weeks the resolution that delimits the páramo of Santurbán, for lack of consultation with the communities that surround it, and opened a period of one year to carry out new rounds of dialogue with they.
"We will apply in detail the ruling of the Constitutional Court (...) and we will review it according to the participation methodology established," he warned. Murillo.
In addition, the minister encouraged the population to take part in the participatory process for the new delimitation of the area.