La ruptura social que dejó Hidroituango

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Alcaldía de Sabanalarga. Foto Bibiana Ramírez – APR.

Aún no se soluciona la afectación a las comunidades aguas arriba por Hidroituango, y en Sabanalarga la situación empeora

Bibiana Ramírez – Agencia Prensa Rural
@bibianarm 

Ya van casi tres meses desde que Hidroituango cambió la vida de miles de personas del cañón del río Cauca con una tragedia que ya estaba advertida. Aún no se sabe la verdad de lo que pasó con la represa; sus accionistas se han encargado de ocultar información que los pueda comprometer. Ahora se ufanan de que han invertido alrededor de 35 mil millones de pesos en ayudas para “damnificados”, que deberían llamarlos afectados. Nada de ese dinero se ha visto aguas arriba, hasta ahora no han resuelto la situación en Ituango y Sabanalarga donde la gente sigue a la espera de una reparación digna.

Fuera de los daños materiales, la mayor pérdida para estas personas es el desarraigo cultural de sus territorios. Hay una ruptura social que ninguna cantidad de dinero enmendará. Las familias se han dividido, muchos se refugiaron en otros pueblos sin la certeza de un mejor futuro. Los hijos por un lado, los padres por otro, algunos buscando un jornal para conseguir alimento, otros sin tierra donde quisieran cultivar, extrañando el río y sus playas en donde se quedaban hasta un año sin salir, porque allí tenían todo lo necesario para vivir, tenían la libertad.

La alcaldía de Sabanalarga es el refugio de barequeros, pescadores y campesinos que llegaron allí el 10 de mayo. “La invito a mi casa, es muy grande”, dice entre risas un joven que no tiene otro lugar a dónde ir, nació a orillas del río y toda su vida estaba ahí. Luego su risa cambia y se torna triste. Otros dos jóvenes tendidos en el suelo, dentro del recinto, tocan la guitarra y ensayan una canción. Los niños entran y salen corriendo. En las esquinas hay costales con los únicos enseres que lograron rescatar. En una de las sillas que hay dentro de la alcaldía otro hombre teje manillas. “Hay que hacer algo para no morir de aburrimiento”, dice.

Los funcionarios de la administración entran y salen como si nada pasara. Las oficinas operan con normalidad aunque haya alguien al lado de la puerta haciendo la siesta, una señora sentada en el suelo comiendo su almuerzo o un niño haciendo las tareas después de la escuela. “Aquí nadie responde por nosotros, no nos dicen nada, como que no les estorbamos”, dice una líder cuando le pregunto por el apoyo institucional, y agrega: “Los concejales unas veces están a favor nuestro y otras en contra”.

—¿Usted ha vuelto al río? Le pregunto a un barequero. —Sí he vuelto, pero me pongo es a llorar, allá no hay nada para hacer. Es un charco feo que huele a podrido. Hay un silencio total, ya el río no suena, las aves no cantan, es como si uno estuviera en el cementerio, no aguanto ni una hora allá y me devuelvo porque si no, me muero de la tristeza.

Los grandes problemas empiezan

Si el día de la salida del río llegaron al parque de Sabanalarga unas 600 personas, hoy no quedan sino cerca de 150. Unos se han ido porque se han enfermado, porque no aguantaron la situación o porque los han amenazado. El paramilitarismo también está en esta zona controlando.

Por esos mismos días, mientras los visitábamos con unas españolas que vinieron a hacer acompañamiento, les llegó un oficio de la Unidad de Víctimas informándoles que serán reparados por desplazamiento y desaparición forzada por el conflicto armado y que en agosto deben iniciar el trámite. No les llegó a todos. Muchos creyeron que les había llegado la notificación de las ayudas por las pérdidas con la represa. Casi nadie entendía el papel que estaban recibiendo y en la alcaldía nadie les quería explicar. Es evidente la estrategia de confundir y dividir a las personas, pues estaba en boca de todos la pregunta de por qué había unos más privilegiados que otros, cuando la mayoría es víctima del conflicto y desde hace años estaban esperando la reparación.

Y también era noticia el mal uso que EPM está haciendo con la fauna de la región. Esa misma tarde pude ver a un campesino picado por una serpiente, con la fortuna que el hospital tenía el medicamento para salvarle la vida. “Ellos (empresa encargada del manejo de la fauna) cogieron un montón de serpientes que estaban cerca de la represa, las llevaron y las soltaron cerca de las fincas. Ya varios campesinos las han visto. Yo estaba desyerbando una cafetera y cuando mandé la mano, ella estaba debajo de unas hojas y me mordió, era una rabo de ají”. Otros hablaban de que el maíz y el fríjol ha sido comido por las guacamayas y otras aves que han tenido que emigrar a las partes altas de la montaña.

Desde que llegaron del río instalaron la cocina en el parque. De la Alcaldía les mandaron a decir que la quitaran, que eso hacía ver muy feo al municipio. Aún la tienen allí. El agua la cargan en tarros para cocinar y lavar las ollas, y el botadero de esa agua se hace a la calle, lo que ha generado una situación de insalubridad, pues no son las mejores condiciones para preparar los alimentos.

Amenaza de desalojo

Además de estar en la alcaldía, algunas familias están en dos oficinas de EPM que ocuparon después de la salida del río porque no les prestaron el coliseo. El 4 de julio les dejaron en la puerta una orden de desalojo para el 6 de julio, firmada por la Secretaría de Gobierno municipal y la inspección de policía. Si no lo cumplían, lo harían por medio de la Fuerza Pública. Hasta ahora no los han sacado, pero la incertidumbre está encima.

Hicimos un recorrido por estas dos oficinas, hablando con la gente, escuchando las historias. Mientras pasamos a la segunda oficina, como la primera quedó vacía, llegó alguien de seguridad privada a intentar cerrar la puerta. Uno de los afectados se percató y no dejó, nos llamó para que viéramos lo que estaba pasando. El de la seguridad hizo una llamada y se fue.

En la segunda oficina, una señora nos contó que esa madrugada había entrado un hombre, caminó por ahí y salió, eran las dos de la mañana. “Tenemos mucho miedo, nos sentimos muy solos y no sabemos cuánto más tendremos que estar así”. El resto del pueblo no hace mucho para apoyar a los afectados, al contrario: les dicen que se vayan a trabajar. “Aquí la gente cree que estamos muy contentos midiendo calles, comiendo mal, y ¿dónde vamos a trabajar si nos sacaron del río, la cosecha de café no ha empezado, nadie nos da un jornal?”, dice otro campesino preocupado.

Esa es la incertidumbre diaria. Ni alimentos ni colchonetas les ha enviado EPM para reparar los daños, menos les dará un albergue. Todos los afectados en Sabanalarga hacen parte del Movimiento Ríos Vivos y desde ahí es donde han llegado las ayudas con gestiones que hacen algunos líderes en las ciudades.

Nueva vivienda en la oficina de EPM. Foto Bibiana Ramírez – APR.

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