On July 28, WOLA hosted Oil Palm Expansion and Land Accumulation, a discussion of the impact of oil palm expansion and human rights in rural Colombia. A video of the event, featuring commentary from Mr. Abilio Peña of Justicia y Paz, can be viewed above.
During the last two decades, Justicia y Paz (Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz, the Inter-Church Commission for Justice and Peace) has engaged in research, advocacy, and legal casework, regarding oil palm expansion and related forced displacement, environmental damage, and human rights violations in Colombia.
Justicia y Paz is currently accompanying communities in the central Colombian town of Mapiripán that have been negatively affected by oil palm expansion in the region, and carrying out research on the company Poligrow Colombia Ltda. Mr. Abilio Peña of Justicia y Paz will share his organization’s research findings and discuss mechanisms being used by national and multinational companies to acquire vast tracks of land in Colombia’s Llanos (plains) region for oil palm operations.
William Aljure, a resident of Mapiripán, will share his personal story of forced displacement, as well as current efforts under way by his family and communities to address oil palm expansion across rural and native lands in Meta.