Two leading Bolivian voices for climate justice need our support
17 July 2017
For several years, Global Justice Now, as part of the global networks Climate Justice Now! and Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice, has worked with Pablo Solón, former chief climate negotiator of Bolivia to the UN climate negotiations, in pushing for just solutions to the climate crisis.
We also participated in the historic World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth, held in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2010, which Pablo played a key role in organising. During that time we have been inspired by the Bolivian government’s steadfast principles in fighting for the positions of governments and movements in the global South, both inside and outside the UN climate negotiations.
As a result we are disturbed to discover that right now the Bolivian government is threatening Pablo Solón, as well as his former colleague Rafael Archondo, with criminal charges and potential jail sentences of up to four years, in what appears to be a politically-motivated prosecution in response to their public criticism of two mega-dams planned to be built in Bolivia.
Our friends at Focus on the Global South, where Solón was formerly Executive Director, have launched a statement of support which states:
The accusations six years on that allege Solón “illegally appointed” Archondo and that Archondo committed the crime of “prolonging functions in the Permanent Mission of Bolivia to the UN” can only be seen as attempts to silence Solón for his vocal criticism of the government and the construction of two giant hydroelectric projects, El Bala and El Chepete in the Amazonian region.
We are joining the global community of climate and environmental justice campaigners in asking the Bolivian government to drop these charges and end the persecution of Pablo Solón and Rafael Archondo. You can read and sign the full statement, and share it with your contacts, on the Focus on the Global South website.
Photo: Pablo Solón speaks at the Rio+20 Peoples Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Credit: CIDSE/Florian Kopp