The Cordoba Regional Permanent Assembly for Human Rights (APDH) released a letter addressed to Pope Francis asking him to intercede with the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) belonging to the Development Bank of Latin America, which authorized the $75 million loan to the construction of a section of the Punilla Highway, a work that “endangers the preservation of the environment.”

What does the letter say?

In the letter can be read: “This Cordovan highway damages a very ecologically vulnerable area and increases the damage to water basins that are in a very serious situation; water basins that provide water for human consumption in the city of Córdoba”, whose recent studies show that the water from the network of the city of Córdoba contains almost twice as many microcystins as allowed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The APDH also highlighted in the text that the inhabitants of the Punilla Valley massively rejected the work and that the project even has alternative routes. “That they would not generate the environmental impact that the current project contains, but the governments persist in the questioned project despite popular rejection.”

“We have been repudiating for a long time and asking for explanations from the Development Bank of Latin America, which never gave us an answer,” indicated the Assembly and pointed out that the project “It violates the very environmental safeguards established by the development bank to finance road infrastructure projects.”

In this sense, the text highlights that the Andean Development Corporation / Development Bank of Latin America presents itself as a “Green Banking”developing educational projects with the Catholic organization, “which is absolutely contradictory to the defense of our Common Home”.

The APDH also pointed out that the construction of this Highway is not limited only to the impact on water, flora and fauna, but also to archeological sites of vital importance and to the few native forests that exist today in Córdoba as a consequence of the agro- ranching, real estate speculation, and the fires that year after year devastate everything in their path “as a result of the lack of government prevention, human intentionality and climatic conditions”.

“Our fight for the ecosystems of Cordoba shares what you yourself have expressed: The deterioration of the environment and that of society affects the weakest in a special way”indicated the civil association in the letter addressed to the Supreme Pontiff to make him aware of the worrying situation.

“We implore you that both your Church and your person help us protect what little remains of our healthy and natural environment in the province of Córdoba; our urgency and desperation responds to the fact that there is no time to wait”specifies the APDH and adds: “The environmental crisis is a crisis that threatens human, plant and animal life, against minerals and natural resources, and fundamentally against our men and women, boys and girls, who are repressed by the Cordovan security forces every time they try to protect with their bodies, in peaceful demonstrations and camps, what remains of the Punilla Valley”.

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Source: Permanent Assembly for Human Rights (APDH) Córdoba Regional