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Judi Lynn

(161,038 posts)
Sat Dec 17, 2022, 11:45 PM Dec 2022

Pristine Colombian island in tug of war over naval base

Issued on: 16/12/2022 - 15:34

A Colombian soldier stands guard at Gorgona Island off the Colombian Pacific coast in December 2022 © Juan RESTREPO / AFP

3 min
Gorgona Island (Colombia) (AFP) – Just off Colombia's Pacific coast lies a dot of an island that is postcard perfect: mountains, lush jungle, pristine beaches and humpback whales and other critters that find the place irresistible.

Enter the Colombian military, which is building a US-financed coast guard station here on Gorgona Island, and a spat is served up -- one that is challenging Colombia's new leftist president, Gustavo Petro, to make good on promises to fight climate change and be an environmental champion.

Environmental groups filed a class action lawsuit last month asking a judge to suspend construction of the coast guard base, which the navy says will help it fight drug trafficking and other crime.

. . .

Colombians know it for a darker reason, however: it used to house a prison where prisoners deemed to be the most dangerous were sent and tortured. That facility operated from the 1960s until 1984.


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