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| 1/11/2011 12:00:00 AM

Residents of Colombia oil patch complain boom is passing them by

January 11--Every day, 150 crude-laden semitrailer trucks grind over a town's dirt road, raising dust and spewing oil. A rancher and his neighbors want a paved road to mitigate noise and environmental damage.

Weather-beaten rancher Leonardo Bautista brings to mind the character in a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel who waited years in vain for a pension. Only Bautista is waiting for a new road, or any other benefit to filter down to those who live at ground zero of Colombia's oil boom.

Every day, 150 crude-laden semitrailer trucks grind over his town's dirt road, raising dust and spewing oil. Bautista and his neighbors want a paved road to mitigate the noise and environmental damage, and to leave room for other vehicles, which often get muscled off course as the lumbering tankers swerve to avoid potholes.

He says residents have been promised a road since the boom began out here in Colombia's eastern plains, which just five years ago were a stronghold for leftist rebels, paramilitary militias and other armed groups.
 
Read more here.

Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.


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