Colombia: Millions Demand Investigation of Environmental Crimes


Logs, branches and leaves blocked the door of Bogota’s Prosecutor’s Office Wednesday after activists erected an “environmental graveyard” in a demonstration against deforestation in Colombia’s Amazon.


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Over a million citizens have signed the petition circulated by members of the NGO Avaaz against the ecological disaster which is endangering the country’s ecosystem and agricultural sectors.

"The commitments of Colombia in the Paris Agreement and the recognition that the Amazon’s rights are at risk of being abused by empty promises if the new Colombian government does not do something right now,” said Ana Sofia Suarez, Avaaz campaign coordinator.

The nonprofit filed a complaint this week against the Prosecutor’s Human Rights authorities to investigate the environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon forest. The Avaaz said if deforestation continues in national reserves such as Chiribiquete Park, the South American country stands the risk of losing its cultural heritage.

“It is necessary that they investigate and arrest the criminal groups behind the deforestation that is devastating the Colombian Amazon. Today, supported by citizens from all over the world, we present this criminal complaint demanding concrete actions,” Suarez said.

The legal document demanded the prosecutor investigate crimes such as damage to natural resources, invasion into protected zones, environmental pollution, and illicit use of renewable resources, specifically in the Municipality of San Vicente del Cagua.

"We are asking the prosecutor’s office to investigate the criminal groups that are behind the deforestation that is sweeping the Amazon; the ones that are cutting down are not small peasants or inhabitants surrounding these areas, but organized groups," Suarez.

Over the last year, Colombia’s Amazon lost at least 219,973 hectares and scientiss question whether the South American country will be able to commit to zero deforestation by 2020.


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