PBI-Colombia celebrates the 22nd anniversary of the Zona de Reserva Campesina La Perla Amazónica (ZRCPA) in Putumayo
On December 5, PBI-Colombia posted on Instagram:
“We celebrate the campesina resistance and defense of territory for 22 years in the Amazon Pearl Peasant Reserve Zone #ZRCPA from where leaders like Jani Silva promote environmental protection as a way to build #Peace #Putumayo.”
Silva 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.
Amnesty International has highlighted: “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: “[Silva] has also denounced the socio-environmental effects of oil operations, including those of Amerisur.”
In November 2019, GeoPark announced it had acquired Amerisur for £242 million. The Banking on Climate Chaos website documents that the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) provided USD $13.68 million in financing to GeoPark in 2016.
PBI-Canada extends its congratulations to the ZRCPA on its 22nd anniversary!