In Colombia, deforestation is now a crime!

19 Aug, 2021 | Press Releases

In the past days, the Colombian government issued a law (Law 2111 of 2021) that modifies the Colombian Criminal Code, creating new environmental crimes, including deforestation or its promotion and financing, which can now be punished with sentences of up to 15 years.

The law also strengthens the judgments of crimes that already existed in the Colombian Criminal Code, including the destruction of natural resources, which now has “ecocide” added to it.

Juan Carlos Losada, a member of the House of Representatives of Colombia, wrote and proposed this new law against environmental crimes, aware, among other things, of the worrying levels of deforestation in the country.

The Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies of Colombia (IDEAM) reported in 2020 that 65% of deforestation in Colombia affected the Amazon region. Land grabbing, illegal roads, crop cultivation and illegal mining are among the main reasons for deforestation in Colombia.

Additionally, it should be noted that this country, other than appearing in the news for the levels of deforestation occurring in its forests in the last years, is notoriously known for being one of the most dangerous places for environmental defenders, including indigenous leaders. For example, in July this year, a doctor, Fernando Vela, was murdered for denouncing deforestation in this country. His case is one of too many.

No Peace Without Justice strongly welcomes this new law and hope it will start a positive change for the environment and those who defend it in Colombia.