The Government yesterday began the fourteenth phase of the Artemisa campaign, a long-term sustained operation, in the Serranía de Chiribiquete National Natural Park, with which the Military and Police Forces seek to protect biodiversity, water and forests in the Colombian Amazon.
According to the Government in a statement, with the beginning of this fourteenth phase of Artemisa, it seeks to act against those who are deforesting, neutralizing and capturing to these criminals, be stricter in the application of the Environmental Crimes Law and reforest 1,200 hectares of forest.
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After an overflight in the area, Defense Minister Diego Molano assured that “it hurts my soul to see how Chiribiquete Park was burned at the hands of criminals and FARC dissidents, specifically the Miller Perdomo structure, which seeks, through this practice, to deforest and appropriate the land.”
For its part , the Minister of the Environment, Carlos Eduardo Correa, stated that “we are working jointly to protect our natural resources, especially the Amazon. Although these three months are dry season and we see some fires in areas such as Sabanas del Yarí, north of Chiribiquete and Mapiripán, not everything is because of the season we are experiencing but because of the crime that is burning our forests. There are criminal gangs trying to grab land; they cut down the trees, burn them and we can see outbreaks in different areas of the national park.”
Likewise, the head of the environmental portfolio made a call to the inhabitants of this important area of ??the country: “the message to all the communities is that they please denounce and do not allow them to take away that heritage they have today, the Amazon forest of which we are proud. From the Minambiente we will continue working with the Artemisa Campaign, the National Council for the Fight Against Deforestation (Conaldef), applying the Environmental Crimes Law and, at the same time, hand in hand with the communities, we will continue with the Payment for Environmental Services, Green Businesses , Environmental Education and Natural Conservation Contracts”.
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For his part, Minister Molano emphasized that “the bet is to intervene 11 special points where deforestation actions have been identified by these bands. We are going to carry out arrests and several raids, as well as the destruction of roads and bridges built in the middle of this jungle.”
Complaints of the communities
Communities near the areas where Operation Artemisa is being implemented yesterday denounced harassment and military actions such as the use of dynamite to destroy bridges and roads. In addition, they say, they decided to retain 12 soldiers to demand the presence of human rights monitors and government entities.
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“On February 4, 2022 at 08: 40 a.m. in the village of Gorgona in the place known as the morras bridge the national army of the fudra1 units of the BADRA2 battalion located in Macarena, Meta, under the command of Colonel Eduardo Andrés Gómez Rodríguez, and the national police, members of the SIJIN and an official of the environment in compliance with the incriminating orders of the Artemisa plan that intends to prosecute the peasants for environmental crimes violently assaulted the community, bombed the bridge and the highway made with the fruit of the efforts of the local population, they also intimidated The peasants aggressively tried to stop the ladies Andrea López Gonzales, citizenship card 40443709, who lives in the village of Gorgona, and Luz Maryori Guevara, citizenship card 2483510 (SIC),” the association of peasants from the Ascatragua zone said in a statement.
The community assured that they decided to “block” the entrance of 12 soldiers, whom “The right to life and international humanitarian law are respected based on the mutual respect between the community and the military.”
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They also requested the presence of government spokesmen and rights organizations that help them “resolve the constant violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in the constant aggression against the civilian population by the armed forces”.
According to Lina Álvarez, founder of the media outlet El Cuarto Mosquetero and who has worked closely with the communities, what is happening is that Artemisa only gives the communities two options: prison or freedom, but far away. Of the territory.
“The community in different scenarios tried to dialogue with institutions, exhaust all these avenues and its position was resounding. They are criminals for living in National Natural Parks, despite the fact that they arrived there before being protected areas promoted by the government of the time“, assured Álvarez.
So far there have been 13 phases of Artemisa
The Artemisa campaign is a joint effort between the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry Environment and Sustainable Development, the Attorney General’s Office, National Natural Parks of Colombia, IDEAM and the Public Force.
From According to what was reported by the Government, with the 13 phases of Artemisa, 582 people have been captured for environmental crimes, of which 102 were in the course of the operation.
• 32 constructions disabled
• 6 deforestation nuclei intervened
• 21,699 hectares intervened
• 5,411,225 plants planted adas
• 9,241 cubic meters of wood seized
• Reduction of deforestation by 34% in the departments of Meta, Caquetá and Guaviare in the first quarter of 2021.
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The 17 most wanted for environmental crimes and deforestation
The Ministers of Environment and Defense presented the cartel of the most wanted for environmental crimes and deforestation. In addition, a reward plan of up to 300 million pesos was offered to those who provide information that allows the location and capture of criminals who threaten the environment.
These are the 17 most wanted for deforestation in the country.
During the visit to La Macarena, Minister Diego Molano also announced four additional phases with sustained operations in seven natural parks during the first half of 2022.
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