U'wa

U'wa

About U'wa

The U'wa people are an indigenous people living in the cloud forests of northeastern Colombia. Historically, the U'wa numbered as many as 20,000, scattered over a homeland that extended across the Venezuela-Colombia border. Some 7-8,000 U'wa are alive today. The U'wa are known to neighboring indigenous peoples as "the thinking people" or "the people who speak well". They were formerly called Tunebo, but today prefer to be known as U'wa, meaning "people". They gained international visibility in a 14-year long struggle to prevent oil drilling on their land, which secured the withdrawal of Royal Dutch Shell and Occidental Petroleum (Oxy), and continues as Ecopetrol and Repsol YPF seek to drill on their land. Their representative to the outside world in this struggle, Berito Kuwaru'wa, won the Goldman Environmental Prize in 1998. The conflict came to a head as Oxy prepared to drill at the Gibraltar 1 test site.

Contributions by Carwil, Ptcamn, and Rocko66.