The Petro government will continue a military project in Gorgona: yes, radar will be installed

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The Petro government will continue a military project in Gorgona: yes, radar will be installed

It is a coast guard substation of the National Navy, composed of 28 marines, which has generated controversy and resistance from the communities of Gorgona Island and environmental organizations in the country.

Indeed, after several working groups with the population, the Gustavo Petro government confirmed this Monday, February 12, that it will continue the military project. Work is expected to start next week.

The defense minister, Iván Velásquez, stressed that it is not a military base, much less a United States presence. The project is necessary to combat environmental crimes such as drug trafficking in the Pacific Ocean and illegal fishing in that national natural park, he said.

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“A series of ANLA requirements, warnings and preventions have been strictly complied with. Management of radar is exclusively the responsibility of the national navy. There is no military presence or North American control here,” the Defense Department chief said.

In short, the national government confirmed the installation of a radar that would expand surveillance and control capabilities at sea, but it would no longer be financed by the United States.

The Minister of Environment, Susana Muhammad, announced that these resources, worth approximately $12 million, would be used to build an environmental research center, in which four universities will participate, and begin an energy transition on the island of Gorgona.

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Muhammad said, “The radar will be financed one hundred percent by the Ministry of Defense so that there is no doubt that it will be used not only for security operations, but also for the new environmental monitoring center to be established in Buenaventura ”

As far as the construction of the pier is concerned, which was suspended since last year, it will now be resumed but under strict environmental measures set by the National Environmental Licensing Agency (ANLA) so as not to impact marine life.

It is expected to be ready before June 30 when humpback whale sightings will begin. “It is useful for all residents of the island. This will have an impact on tourism and conservation of life,” Velasquez said.

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The project also includes the improvement of the National Navy’s accommodation, which has been present on the island since 2014. The roofs of three houses are currently made of asbestos. “This is to help guarantee the government’s objective of providing decent living conditions wherever the public force is located,” the defense minister said.

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