Colombia ranks among the top five nations with the greatest diversity of plant and animal species in the world; more different kinds of birds and amphibians make their home here than in any other place on the planet.
In the early 1990s, together with other movement leaders, she led a campaign that secured more than 5.9 million acres in territorial rights for Colombia’s black rural communities.
Multinational corporations moved in to exploit its natural riches such as gold and oil and to introduce foreign mono-crops like the African palm.
They also secured increased government restrictions to mitigate environmental and cultural damage along the coast.
She has spoken out against U.S. and European aid and investment in Colombian operations linked to violence and human rights violations in meetings with U.S. Congress people and advocacy groups, at talks at colleges through the U.S. and Canada, and in meetings held by global trade institutions such as the World Trade Organization.