Buenaventura: Between port expansions and violence

The rivers in the back, the sea in the front and the rain in the sky.
(In collaboration with Bram Ebus)

Buenaventura is the world wettest city, and is mostly created by the Afrocolombian descendants of slaves that had nowhere else to go. They created their homes on the water and lived from the mangroves and the sea. Buenaventura is Colombia’s second largest harbor. Despite its economic importance 80% of the population lives in poverty and in the twenty years 150.000 people have fled the city due to the violence. Thousands of people have been killed and hundreds disappeared. Many locals claim the most extreme violence came at the same time when investors became interested in developing the city. In 2050 Buenaventura should be the largest pacific harbor of Latin America and the face of the city will be changed irreversibly. About 15 mega projects are planned.

One of those projects is the TCBuen port facility. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) – the investment branch of the World bank – has invested in this project, presumably because it will bring development to the city and the country as a whole, however, at what costs for the local people?

Buenaventura: Between port expansions and violence