Amnesty International releases new video about Colombian human rights defender Jani Silva

Published by Brent Patterson on

Share This Page

On January 2, Amnesty International released this new 1-minute video about Colombian environmental human rights defender Jani Silva.

Silva 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 ZRCPA is located near Puerto Asis in the department of Putumayo, which is situated 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.”

Amnesty International adds: “Her work placed her at loggerheads with the Ecopetrol oil company, which won a license to operate in areas overlapping with the reserve in 2006. 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.”

And Gimena Sánchez-Garzoli of WOLA further notes: “Silva persistently fights for the conservation of the Amazon ecosystem and the rights of campesinos in Putumayo department. Oil slicks pollute the soil and drinking water of hundreds of farmers, animals, and plants, which is why Silva has campaigned for years against oil extraction.”

She adds: “In 2017, as a result of death threats in response to this work, Silva and her family were internally displaced from their community.”

PBI-Colombia has also noted: “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.”

In November 2019, Amerisur (that had been listed on the London Stock Exchange) was purchased by GeoPark (listed on the New York Stock Exchange).

Several Canadian oil and gas corporations also operate in the Putumayo basin, including Calgary-based Gran Tierra Energy.

You can read more from Amnesty International Canada on how to take action to support Silva.

Share This Page
Categories: News Updates


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *