Amnesty International Canada supports Colombian defender Jani Silva with Write for Rights action on December 10

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: Jani Silva is accompanied by the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission, which in turn has been accompanied by PBI-Colombia since 1994.

Our friends at Amnesty International Canada are mobilizing through their Write for Rights campaign in support of Colombian environmental defender Jani Silva.

Amnesty International Canada notes:

Born in the heart of the Amazon, Jani Silva has dedicated her life to defending the trees and land that are everyone’s lifeblood. From the age of 16, she has supported the campesino farmers of Putumayo, a region brimming with unique biodiversity.

Jani co-founded the Association for the Integral and Sustainable Development of the Amazonian Pearl (ADISPA) in 2008. Through it, she protects the environment and rights of those living in the Amazonian Pearl, a campesino reserve in Putumayo.

Jani’s work placed her at odds with the Ecopetrol oil company, which got a license to operate in areas overlapping with the reserve. In 2009 the license was transferred to the Amerisur oil company. Since then, at least two oil spills have poisoned the water sources that local communities depend on.

Defending a healthy environment is dangerous work in Colombia and increasingly so for women and their communities in isolated areas. Armed men followed Jani and threatened her with death. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, state protection has been reduced, while assassinations skyrocketed.

You can read more from Amnesty International Canada about Jani Silva and how to take action on December 10 by clicking here.

They are asking people to write the President of Colombia to “tell him to protect Jani and all ADISPA members from harm so they can safely defend the land and water their communities depend on.”

They are also asking for letters to be sent to Jani and her fellow ADISPA (c/o the PBI-Colombia accompanied Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission) to share with them “how much you admire their brave efforts.”

To sign up and take part in Amnesty International Canada’s Write for Rights day of action on December 10, please click here.


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