Now that the conflict is officially over between the Colombian government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Revolucionarias Armadas de Colombia, FARC) environmental issues are attracting more international attention. While Colombia faces the typical sustainability challenges due to deforestation, large-scale oil spills, pollution, and poor environmental practices in various sectors, these are compounded by environmental issues related to war and criminal networks. Understanding how the environment intersects with war, violence, and other issues is critical to developing a sustainable economy for future generations.
The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) is pleased to host Marina Malamud, researcher for the the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, CONICET). Malamund has researched how war, the environment, and illegal practices intersect, and the impact that illicit economies in the Amazon have on the environment. She will explain her findings on common behavioral practices of resource-based wars, warfare ecology, how the environment becomes a target during conflicts, and the intersection between insurgencies and climate by contrasting Colombia and Afghanistan.
In 2017, 32 social activists were killed in Colombia due to their efforts protect the environment. WOLA’s Director for the Andes, Gimena Sanchez-Garzoli, will provide commentary on the role of the environment in Colombia’s conflict, its human cost, and the challenges coming in the post-conflict.
Dr. Marina Malamud is the author of the recently published study “Illicit economies in the Amazon: a challenge for governability in Peru, Brazil and Colombia.” She has also published “The Environment as a Factor in Small Wars,” a research paper that analyzes the relationship between small wars, insurgency, and the natural environment. Malamund holds a PhD in Social Sciences and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Buenos Aires.
Gimena Sanchez is the Director for the Andes and the leading Colombia human rights advocate at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). Ms. Sánchez is an expert on peace and illegal armed groups, internally displaced persons, human rights and ethnic minority rights. Her work has shed light on the situation of Colombia’s more than seven million internally displaced persons, and has helped expose the links between Colombia’s government and drug-funded paramilitaries.