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LatinNews Daily - 24 April 2019

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In brief: Colombia

* Jorge Londoño, the general manager of Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM), the Colombian state-owned utilities firm responsible for the Hidroituango hydroelectric dam over the river Cauca, has announced that the main elements of risk have been contained and EPM is to begin the dam's reconstruction phase. The Hidroituango dam, which is located in Antioquia department, was just months from completion when heavy rainfall and landslides in April/May 2018 blocked the river's diversion tunnel, threatening a breach of the dam and resulting in tens of thousands of people being evacuated. Outlining the balance sheet of the past year, Londoño said that EPM had implemented a recovery plan for the municipalities of Ituango, Valdivia, Tarazá, Cáceres, Caucasia, and Nechí which were all impacted by the crisis. In total, 17,184 people have been affected by the plan. He also said that, among other things, the company had invested Col$168.7m (US$53m) in the community and care of the environment in the contingency plan.