ALERT: LOCATION CHANGE TO HAMPTON INN-YBOR! January Meeting: The Battle Against Big Oil in Colombia1/9/2013We welcome David Mesa, Environmental Activist from Colombia, South America, as our special guest on Weds. January 9, 2013, at 7 pm at Hampton Inn and Suites (Ybor City), 1301 E. 7th Ave. In Colombia, the government of President Juan Manuel Santos has determinedly embarked on a path of minerals and oil exploration and extraction under the umbrella name “The Mining Locomotive.” Colombia, a biodiversity hotspot, contains an extraordinary richness of animals and plants which are in danger from this unprecedented and rushed attempt for economic development.
Throughout the South American Andean country, social, economic and environmental issues are erupting and many communities are seeing how their rights to belong to a territory, to have access to potable water and air, and to live in a safe environment are being disrupted by mining and oil concessions, along with increases in the cost of goods, which are increasing the levels of poverty and malnutrition. In the Colombian Province of Suamox, a group of concerned citizens formed an activist group called the “Sugamuxi’s Province Protection Collective” to protect their territory from oil exploration. David Mesa, one of the group’s Technical Members, a Chemical Engineer and Global Sustainability graduate student studying at the University of South Florida Tampa, will share with us his experience and participation with local communities, and the government and oil company’s response to the Collective’s grassroots efforts to protect and deter the destruction of Colombia’s biodiversity and its ecosystem. All Sierra Club meetings are free and open to the public. PARKING IS FREE IN THE ATTACHED GARAGE AT HAMPTON INN,ENTRANCE ON 6TH AVE. For more information, contact Marcia Biggs at (727) 797-6261.