around 5,000 members of the U'Wa tribe have threatened to commit suicide if an oil company from the us does not abandon its plans to drill for oil on their ancestral land. The tribe has already lost legal claim to the 162,000 hectares drilling site, which is located just outside its settlement on the rim of the Amazon basin, east of the Andes mountains. But the tribals are determined to stop the drilling even if they have to jump to their deaths.
"This oil belongs to the land and it cannot be taken out," said U'Wa council chief Roberto Cobaria who along with environmentalists are lobbying for support in the us. The tribe says that the mining of oil would harm their culture and beliefs, and damage agricultural, hunting and fishing grounds.
The Colombian government and an administrative law court have given the green signal to the oil company Occidental Oil.The company has offered the natives a bigger share of the oil royalties paid to the government. But the U'Wa say that their position is not negotiable.
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