Aftershocks from Russia’s war against Ukraine continue rippling around the world, including to the deserts and jungles of Colombia. Producing increasing volumes of oil and fossil gas, this Andean country is also one of the world’s largest coal exporters.
Long rocked by violence, civil war as well as government and industry-linked terrorism, prior to Russia’s invasion European buyers had been curtailing fossil fuel and “blood coal” imports from Colombia due to linkages with human rights violations. But faced with its own energy crisis, following a personal call in April from German chancellor Olaf Scholz to Colombia’s then President Ivan Duque, more coal than ever is sailing from Latin America to European ports.
But then two months later, voters elected the nation’s first ever left-green government into power. Campaigning on a platform to accelerate their clean energy transition, ban fracking, and restrict coal mining, the economist and former Bogotá mayor and former guerilla fighter Gustavo Pedro has now assumed power.
To help us unpack how we got here and what to expect next from both Colombia, Germany and the European Union, in this episode, podcast host and lead blogger, Michael Buchsbaum, interviews Latin American expert and Deutsche Welle reporter and correspondent, Judit Alonso.
Click here for background information on links between Colombia’s civil war and coal and fossil fuel extraction.
Click here to read more about Scholz’ phone call to Duque.
Click here to read stories and see images of how mining and development is impacting Colombia’s Wayuu indigenous people.
Audio from the podcast was mixed and edited by audio expert Christian Kreymborg.