PBI-Colombia expresses concern about withdrawal of a National Protection Unit (UNP) measure for Jani Silva

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo: Javier Ignacio Hoyos (PBI), Jani Silva (ZRCPA), Carlos Fernández (Justice and Peace) and Sandra Lagos (ZRCPA). Photo by PBI-Colombia.

On December 10, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project tweeted: “Worrying news regarding the risk situation faced by the environmental defender Jani Silva.”

The Inter-Church Commission on Justice and Peace explains: “The DismountIng Group of Measures of the National Protection Unit notified leader Jani Silva of the withdrawal of one of the material protective measures as a vest.”

“This is the second expression of institutional denialism in the face of the evidence of reality. In August, the Attorney General’s Office closed the investigation for the forced displacement of the leader and her family.”

Their statement concludes: “These decisions show that Duque’s government confirms its position of contempt for the situation of leaders in Colombia.”

The National Protection Unit, founded in 2011, is a state mechanism that provides armed guards, armoured cars, and other measures to protect hundreds of people under threat, including human rights defenders, union leaders and journalists.

Jani is the president of the Association for the Integral Sustainable Development of the Perla Amazónica (ADISPA), the association that manages the Perla Amazónica Peasant Reserve Zone (ZRCPA).

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

The ZRC is located near Puerto Asis in the department of Putumayo, which is located in south-west Colombia near the border with Ecuador.

PBI-Colombia has noted: “Over the years, one of the great challenges they have faced has been the arrival and expansion of oil companies.”

It adds: “Almost three years ago, Jani Silva and her husband Hugo Miramar packed up all their belongings, got on a boat and travelled down the river to Puerto Asis, where they sought refuge. After so many threats and so much stress it was no longer possible to stay on the farm.”

For more, Contagio Radio reports on this situation in Despite threats against leader Jani Silva, UNP withdraws one of its protective measures.

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