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Project August 28, 2020

Rainforest Defenders Series: The Colombian Amazon



In the heart of a dark triangle in the deep rainforest lie three border towns: Leticia (Colombia), Tabatinga (Brazil) and Santa Rosa (Peru). The border is porous and the ceaseless conflict between three legalities open a no man's land, where any kind of criminality thrives. This is the upper Amazon, the epicenter of many traffickers making a living out of the exuberant green wealth of an endangered environment.

Here, Lilia Java, an indigenous of the Puerto Nariño community is trying to preserve a cornerstone of their community system of beliefs: the pink dolphin. Illegal fishing is decimating the sacred dolphin's population at an alarming pace. Mining is everywhere and contamination, destruction and violence is threatening every corner and every human being. Drug and arms trafficking are only the icing on the cake.  

Down in the Amacayacu river, a tributary of the Amazon river, lives José Gregorio from the Tikuna indigenous people. Here, illegal logging is deforesting the area and wood is exported to the bordering Peru and Brazil without any kind of control. José Gregorio leads the Environmental Guard (GIA) of San Martín town hall, ding what he can to preserve forests and wildlife from the continuous harass of floating populations and criminal gangs benefitting of the absence of any of the three bordering states.

A third story will emerge from the daily life of a territory that tries to preserve the ancient knowledge of a world that disappears ever too fast.

As part of the Rainforest Defenders Series project, Francesc Badia i Dalmases and Pablo Albarenga aim to raise at least three stories featuring courageous Amazon Colombian leaders who, building on ancestral knowledge, along with their communities resist and confront constant threats and intimidations, risking their lives to defend the rainforest with great courage and determination.