In case you need more evidence that biofuels are not the Big Green
Conscience-Easing Solution: a disturbing pattern has emerged in
Colombia, where vast palm-oil plantations are taking the place of
tropical forests and farmland. Aid organizations working in the area
say paramilitary gangs are seizing land for biofuel conglomerates,
using threats and violence to evict rural residents. President Alvaro
Uribe has pressed palm producers to more than double their acreage in
the next four years, and concerned observers say his push has
encouraged the illegal seizures. “The paramilitaries are not subtle
when it comes to taking land,” says Dominic Nutt of Christian Aid.
“They simply visit a community and tell landowners, ‘If you don’t sell
to us, we will negotiate with your widow.'” Aren’t you glad we’re
washing our hands of that other strife-ridden fuel? Alternative energy
is on the docket at this week’s meeting of the Organization of American
States in Panama City. So they’ll probably fix all this.

straight to the source:

The Sunday Times, Tony Allen-Mills, 03 Jun 2007

straight to the source: Voice of America, Brian Wagner, 04 Jun 2007

see also, in Grist: A special series on biofuels