In April 2016 Padre Alberto Franco and Jani Silva, Colombian human rights defenders, visited London as part of a Europe wide speaker tour organised by PBI.
Father Alberto Franco is the executive secretary of the human rights NGO Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission (CIJP). The work of the CIJP focuses on the field accompaniment Afro-Colombian, indigenous and peasant farmer communities.
Jani Silva is a Community leader from Putumayo department of southern Colombia. She plays a prominent role in the Integral Sustainable Development Association ‘Perla Amazonica’ (ADISPA). In 2000 peasant communities in the area created the Campesino Reserve Zone ‘Perla Amazonica’ in Putumayo in order to improve the lives of the community members and to protect this fragile amazon ecosystem.
PBI have accompanied CIJP since 1994 when PBI first went into Colombia. Padre Alberto and Jani Silva have both received threats and attacks and face huge risks for the work they have carried out defending human rights in Colombia.
During their time in London Padre Alberto and Jani met with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights, Members of Parliament; Baroness Miller, Baroness Hooper and Mark Durkan as well as representatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss the peace process, the situation for human rights defenders in Putumayo and across Colombia. They also met with NGOs and solidarity groups.
- Podcast with Padre Alberto and Jani Silva ‘Peace & Human Rights in Colombia’ from talk in Queen's University Belfast Human Rights Centre
- Justice and Peace website