TransCanada Pipeline protestor arrested after locking arm to easement

Published: Oct. 2, 2012 at 2:20 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 2, 2012 at 2:53 AM CDT
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WOOD COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Another protestor is in the Wood County Jail Monday night after attempting to stop construction on the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Alejandro Delatorre, 28, faces four charges - obstructing a passageway, resisting arrest, criminal trespass, and the unlawful use of a criminal instrument, which is a felony - after locking his arm to an easement on a farm near Winnsboro.

Delatorre attached his arm to something below a makeshift bridge that Trans Canada built to protect a natural gas pipeline.

"He was basically holding on to a large ball of concrete in the ground," said Ron Seifert, a spokesperson for the Tar Sands Blockade group.

Delatorre lives in Houston, but protest leaders say he had specific reasons that compelled him to travel to East Texas to protest.

"Coming from New Orleans, he's seen the impact that industry can have on communities," Seifert said.

Delatorre was protesting by himself with other supporters on the property to make sure he wasn't hurt. Land owner Gabriel Cordova also watched, and says he approves of what the protestors are doing.

"These kids are protesting not for my property, not for anybody, any property owner. They're protesting to strictly save the earth. I mean, this pipeline is going to be pushing some very toxic products through," Cordova said. "I appreciate these kids for what they're trying to do, but I also - now that I'm here and this pipeline is right here, my house is probably 100 yards that way, it's kind of frightening."

Cordova and his mother signed away the rights to nearly three of their 69 acres several years ago so the pipeline could be built. I asked him if he wished he hadn't.

"I wished I would have known. They told us when we signed the paperwork, it's all on the contract, that only crude oil would be pumped through this line. Only crude oil," Cordova said. "But this is nothing like crude oil. This is much more dangerous."

And so dangerous that a young man would chain himself to the ground to stop construction.

Delatorre will spend the night in the Wood County Jail and will see a judge Tuesday morning.

Wood County officials denied to comment on this story.

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