Catacumbo is considered the ancestral territory of 23 Motilno Bari indigenous communities. They live in the forests on the border with Venezuela, an area rich in biodiversity and characterized by the presence of minerals, oil, wood and water resources. Their population, after suffering dramatic drops, started to increase again and attained up to 3.000 peoples, living in the two reserves demarcated in 1981 and 1988. The repeated attempts to exploit their resources continually exposed the Motilon Bari people to incursions by multinational corporations, especially in the municipalities of Tibu and Tarra, rendering vulnerable their territory and livelihoods. Local residents opposed these incursions, demanding respect for their individual and collective rights and the conservation of their land. In the 1900s, oil companies such as COLPET (Colombia Petroleum Company) and SAGOC (South American Gulf Oil Company) entered the region, followed by Ecopetrol in recent times. In 2014, the area delineated by the three rivers Catatumbo, Oro and Martillo have been granted seven concessions for the exploitation of coal mines. 270 million barrels of crude are also planned to be extracted.