COLOMBIA ACTION ALERT: Campaign for the return of the Las Pavas community to its land


18 September 2010
COLOMBIA ACTION ALERT: Campaign for the return of the Las
Pavas community to its land

Yes, the members of the Las Pavas community are making
progress in the effort return to their land!  Your efforts have helped.  But Las Pavas continues to need your
intervention.  The Body Shop—in
response to the ongoing campaign— recently completed an investigation of palm
oil supplier Daabon’s activities in Las Pavas, which found serious problems
with Daabon’s operations.  Even so, The Body Shop has yet to publicly
state that it will stop buying palm oil from Daabon unless Daabon returns the
land to the displaced community of Las Pavas, pays reparations for damage done,
and works to correct damage to the environment there.

 Take Action:  Send a letter—or please re-send if you sent
one before— to The Body Shop encouraging it to take action to correct the
situation.  Go to
for reference.

 Background:  The people of Las Pavas were a self-sustaining
farming community, growing food to feed their families.  Paramilitary violence forced the
families to leave the land several times, but each time they returned.  In 2006, the community was in the
process of claiming its property rights under Colombian law when the Daabon
consortium bought the land from an absentee owner, who had lost his rights to
the land because he had abandoned it. 
On 14 July 2009 the Colombian riot police illegally and forcefully
removed the community of Las Pavas. 

 The month of July represented one year since the eviction of
the 123 families (more than 500 people) from the Las Pavas farm.  Throughout this year, the community has
been living in a humanitarian crisis with no food security and no land.  

 In Colombia, palm plantations and monocropping are
associated with forced displacement, assassinations, and environmental
destruction.  The Colombian
authorities have pushed, on behalf of large corporations, monocropping of palm,
sugar cane, and rubber.

 The recent Body Shop commission that investigated the
situation noted that area around Las Pavas had suffered significant
environmental damage because of Daabon’s palm plantations.  The damage
includes the destruction of rivers and lakes and other bodies of water polluted
by the runoff of chemicals from the plantations.  In addition, Daabon has clear-cut the community forest, an
area reserved for hunting and wildlife preservation.


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