by Megan Alpert
Following the unexpected failure of Colombia’s long-negotiated peace treaty, the provisions that likely would have protected indigenous groups from destructive environmental activities like mining face an uncertain future. As a result, the country’s ecosystems and environmental defenders are at risk. Depending on the fate of the accord, this megadiverse country could see both legal and illegal mining continue unabated, or even get worse during the post-conflict period.
Ivan Merchan’s body could use a break. During his 30 years fighting for the Marxist guerrilla group known as the FARC, Merchan tells me he has been shot 12 times. His arms and legs are a mass of scar tissue.