Colombia is a country abundant in natural resources, sadly it has a history of exploitation of both its natural bounty and its people, this is a problem that continues to increase and it is now more than ever that the defense of the territory and its natural resources is becoming an issue of life and death for the indigenous communities and peasants in Colombia.
Indigenous people have a way of life that has been shaped by their environment and has been passed down through ancient lineages of wisdom, however their way of life and their existence is increasingly under threat due to the current and overwhelming influence of corporations and multinationals in their territory.
The government has issued hundreds of licenses to multinational companies that allow them to exploit natural resources. Rivers are being used to power hydroelectric plants, Paramos are becoming open mines and deforestation is rapidly changing the landscape in the region causing a huge crisis for our fauna and flora and putting all kinds of species under imminent danger of becoming extinct.
The Putumayo region in the South West of Colombia has been one the most affected regions in the country. Exploitation by the rubber industry during the 1940's caused the indigenous population to be disseminated, as did the exploitation of the land for oil drilling since the 1990's and the fumigation of the land and waters as part of the USA war on drugs strategy: Plan Colombia.
The Putumayo region has also been the epicentre of a bloody battle between the left-wing guerrillas FARC-EP and the Right Wing Paramilitaries forces, this has trapped indigenous people in the middle of circumstances and conflicts which were not of their own making.
The people of this land are asking for our help and support to protect their territory which is really also ours because whatever happens in the Amazonian region of the Putumayo will have an effect in our planet and our lives.