Protect human rights organisation at risk
The Association for the Integral and Sustainable Development of the Amazonian Pearl- ADISPA (Asociación para el Desarrollo Integral y Sostenible de la Perla Amazónica), defends the rights and the environment of 700 families, close to 1,700 men, women, and children who live in the Amazonian Pearl Peasant Reserve Zone (ZRCPA) “La Zona de Reserva Campesina Perla Amazónica” in the Putumayo region (South West), Colombia. This is a fundamental ecosystem in the Amazonian region. The association was formalized in 2011 and created in 2008.
Due to their role as human rights defenders, ADISPA member had been threatened several times. For example, since 2020, Jani Silva, the legal representative of ADISPA had faced at least 6 security incidents:
• On 16 January 2020 she suffered two security incidents. The first occurred around midday, when a man in a motorcycle surveilled her home for at least 10 minutes; the second happened around 2pm, when unknow people arrived at her working place to observe her.
• On 26 March 2020 the Inter-Church Commission for Truth and Peace (Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz) informed her about an ongoing plan to kill her.
• On 17 April 2020 she heard 6 gunshots, less than 30 meters away from her home.
• On 22 April 2020 she heard three-gun shots less than 50 meters from her home and noises from the movement of people and a motorcycle around her house
• In May 2020, several media and human rights organizations denounced the military surveillance of more than 130 people, including national and international journalists, human rights defenders and politicians. One of the human rights defender victims of military surveillance in the report included Jani Silva.
• On 4 December, around 6:00 a.m. the armed structure calling itself “Comandos de la Frontera” (Border Commandos) circulated a stigmatizing pamphlet against ADISPA members.
According to the Inter-ecclesial Commission of Justice and Peace (Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz). Since the end of 2020, the Border Commandos arm group have expressed that they will use all possible means to end the Amazonian Pearl Peasant Reserve Zone (ZRCPA) “La Zona de Reserva Campesina Perla Amazónica”. In the first weeks of 2021, this armed group had vised some of the communities of the ZRCPA to stated that ADISPA should disappear, and no social organization that wants to work in the territory could do so if it disobeys the armed group guidelines.