By Jani Silva*
My name is Jani Silva and I’m a campesina, or small-scale farmer, from Colombia. I’m 57 years old and I work in the Perla Amazónica Farming Reserve Area in the southern region of Putumayo. Ever since I was little, I’ve always followed my convictions and always defended what I believe in. This is why I’m fighting to preserve the Amazon and its biodiversity.
Today I face death threats, for defending our territory, the environment and our way of life. The armed groups in the region want to control our crops, our land and our communities.
We’ve also faced oil drilling that affects our territory, destroys sensitive biological corridors for the protection of Amazonian species, and has drastically changed the lifestyle of our campesino communities.
Despite all the obstacles and difficulties that we confront, we’re convinced that our struggle is just and necessary. Humanity must understand that we are all life, that we are water and that to defend the Amazon is to defend the life of present and future generations.