I’m Andrew Miller. In 1999 / 2000 I served with Peace Brigades International in Colombia, and I have been a member of the PBI-USA Board for the last five years.
The work I do today – supporting Indigenous peoples and other local communities as they protect the Amazon rainforest – is a direct result of the profound experiences I had as a PBI volunteer.
And earlier this year I was delighted to once again see PBI in action in the Colombian Amazon, where local activists are under severe threat for their work to defend the environment.
The PBI team in Bogotá collaborated with embassies to organize a field visit of Ambassadors, as a show of international concern for a series of rainforest communities called the Amazon Pearl, under threat by illegal narco-paramilitary organizations and multinational oil companies.
In coordination with the PBI team, I traveled down the Putumayo River into the communities, alongside PBI field volunteers, local human rights defenders, and Jani Silva, a community leader who fears for her life.
Being able to participate on the delegation provided my organization with important first-hand information, facilitating an expansion of our support for those communities.
The delegation illustrates several positive impacts of PBI’s on-the-ground presence: beyond the immediate protection provided by the international accompaniment, it also facilitates greater political and diplomatic support by other civil society groups and influential embassies.
Overall, I continue to be impressed by the work of Peace Brigades International, which helps protect the lives of courageous local activists, without whom the prospects for peace and environmental justice in Colombia and so many other countries are much diminished.
I’m privileged to support PBI with my time and money, and encourage you to join me!
P.S. This drive is short and sweet, so please donate today!