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Colombia: Afro-Colombians fight biodiesel producers

Source:  Copyright 2008, BBC News
Date:  December 21, 2008
Byline:  Jane Monahan
Original URL: Status ONLINE

For Afro-Colombians evicted from their land in north-western Colombia and along the Pacific coast, the loss of familiar surroundings of lush jungle and rugged mountains can be devastating .

Take Yajaira, a slender 18-year-old, one of four children whose family was displaced from a settlement in the Cacarica river basin just south of Colombia's border with Panama.

She misses her place of origin deeply.

"My home was surrounded by banana and mango trees, and coconut palms," she recalls, fingering a bracelet she wears made of seeds and feathers gathered in tropical forests.

"We used to bathe and fish in a nearby stream."

Currently, Yayaira spends part of the year in Bogota, Colombia's Andean capital, where blue-black clouds seem to hover perpetually over the city.

It often rains and it is cold, in sharp contrast to the sultry heat of the north-west.

Tens of thousands of other displaced ...

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