Conflict Over Palm Oil in Colombia

posted by Josh Ran

Here is an important new story that just came out on BBC news about palm oil expansion in Colombia. Although Indonesia and Malaysia still produce the vast majority of the world’s palm oil, countries like Colombia and Brazil are the new frontier- more land to be clear cut and more communities to by displaced for palm oil plantations.

And much like Indonesia and Malaysia, many Latin American countries have abysmal environmental and human rights records. The similarities with Southeast Asia are remarkable- in both areas, companies have the help of the paramilitary in violently kicking off their land. Often the choice is to leave the land or be killed. And as this great article makes clear, folks who have lived off their land and rivers for generations are often at a loss to make a living in the big cities- which are often the only places left for them to go.