PBI-Colombia accompanies visit by German parliamentarian Kathrin Henneberger to the Amazonian Pearl Peasant Reserve Zone

Published by Brent Patterson on

On July 25, PBI-Colombia tweeted:

“Important visit and support from parliamentarian @KathrinAnna to #ZRCPA [the Perla Amazónica Peasant Reserve Zone] in #Putumayo where Jani Silva, leader of #Adispa [the Association for the Integral Sustainable Development of the Perla Amazónica], women #MEMPA [the Central Women’s Committee known as My Name is Amazon Pearl Woman/MEMPA] and environmental promoters face serious risks for defending life, biodiversity and territory, accompanied by @Justiciaypazcol [the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace].”

PBI-Colombia also tweeted:

“The women defenders of the environment #Mempa ‘My name is Amazon Pearl Woman’, the leader Jani Silva of #Adispa and @Justiciaypazcol have spent years protecting the territory from the serious environmental impacts caused by oil companies, in the midst of the armed conflict.”

Background

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 accompanies the Justice and Peace Commission that in turn accompanies Jani Silva, the president of ADISPA.

Amnesty International has highlighted: “Jani Silva has dedicated her life to protecting the Amazon and the life that exists in it from efforts by armed groups and multinational companies to take control of her territory.”

The Guardian has also reported: “Silva says she has seen firsthand the effects of big business in Putumayo, where, she believes, oil companies ‘exploit irresponsibly’ and contaminate the environment.”

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

“According to Jani, these projects came about in the early 2000s when the people leading the ZRCPA were less active due of the threats they were receiving.”

That timing coincides, as Canadian Dimension has reported, with Canada’s Petrobank investing $50 million in its Putumayo oil operations.

Petrobank was a Calgary-based company whose Putumayo operations were taken over by Calgary-based Petrominerales Ltd. in December 2010. Calgary-based Pacific Rubiales (now Frontera Energy Ltd.) bought Petrominerales in September 2013.

Amnesty International has noted: “[Jani Silva] has also denounced the socio-environmental effects of oil operations, including those of Amerisur [now owned by GeoPark].”

It adds: “Amerisur is a hydrocarbon exploitation company operating mainly in Putumayo basins [whose partners have included] Canacol Energy Ltd. (Canada) [and] Pacific Exploration & Production (Frontera Energy, Canada).”

We continue to follow this situation.


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