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Barro Blanco

The Dutch semi-government bank FMO invests in a hydroelectric dam in Panama that is highly controversial because of environmental damage and the violations of human rights of the indigenous Ngobe people.

A Dutch semi-government institution, the Dutch Development Bank FMO, invests in a hydroelectric dam in Panama, called Barro Blanco. Green energy, and Holland can offset some CO2 emissions. Everybody happy, then?

Well, not quite. The dam is being built just outside the indigenous reservation of the Ngobe people, and part of their land, with several villages, will be flooded. Protests have already caused several deaths and many wounded. Environmentalists claim that the energy isn’t green at all.

Together with colleague Gilles Frenken, I set off to investigate. We found angry indigenous people, an energy corporation that constantly lies, and a Dutch bank that insists on looking the other way when human rights are violated.

Listen to the radio documentary on the HollandDoc website, here.

The documentary led to questions in parliament in the Netherlands as well.

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  1. Pingback: Okke Ornstein | Barro Blanco documentary nominated for Prix Europa

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