Colombia: Amnesty International publishes “ letter from the world ” asking for the protection of defender Jani Silva

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Today, on Earth Day, Amnesty International launched its “A letter from the world” campaign to demand that the Colombian authorities immediately take effective measures to guarantee the safety of environmental defender Jani Silva.

Last year, as part of Amnesty’s global campaign Write for rights, the biggest human rights event on the planet, more than 415,363 people from dozens of countries around the world took action to call for the protection of human rights Jani Silva, who is at risk of being killed for defending the Amazon and the rights of more than 1,200 people living in the Perla Amazon agricultural reserve in Putumayo.

‘Cause I’m defending my turf, people held guns to my head [and threatened] to kill me. But I remain in my territory, we cannot flee or let fear overcome us.

Jani Silva

In the new campaign launched today, Amnesty International used an algorithm to condense the hundreds of solidarity letters sent to Jani Silva into a single letter that symbolizes global solidarity and demands that the Colombian authorities take strong and effective measures to protect his life and guarantee his safety. . In a video posted today, 14 public figures, including artists, singers and comedians from seven countries, read aloud the letter to Jani Silva.

“From the bottom of my heart, I can say that this campaign is what kept me alive, because I was very close to death, but it never happened. Despite everything, we are alive today and that is what matters, ”said Jani Silva. “Because I’m defending my territory, people held a gun to my head [and threatened] to kill me. But I remain in my territory, we cannot flee or let fear overcome us. We must continue to fight because when there are threats against our territory, it is not only us who are threatened but the whole world, because we must protect the land that gives us life.

Jani Silva has dedicated her life to protecting the Amazon and its life against the efforts of armed groups and multinationals to take control of its territory. She led reforestation programs and advocated for the implementation of the Peace Agreement signed in 2016 between FARC-EP and the Colombian government.

She has suffered death threats in retaliation for her work, but Colombian authorities have failed to develop a comprehensive and effective plan to ensure her safety. As of January 2020, state protection has proven insufficient to prevent seven security incidents Jani Silva suffered, including persecution by strangers, illegal digital surveillance by the Colombian military, death threats, several shots fired a few yards from his home and the discovery of a plan to assassinate him.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Duncan Tucker: [email protected]

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