The one million hectare Macarena Biological Reserve, on an isolated massif in the vast Orinici savannahs, is home to over a quarter of all Colombia’s plant and animal species. A protected conservation area since 1993, La Macarena has become a centre of political and social turmoil. Coca,raw material for production of cocaine, is the only profitable crop, and right-wing death squads have murdered scores of local politicians and union leaders. 25,000 illegal settlers, driven into the jungle by the 40-year old civil war, are now demanding land rights and clearing the forest for agriculture. This documentary, by two Colombian film-makers, contrasts the environmental outlook for La Macarena with that on the Caguan River Reserve in the Amazon where settlers’ organisation have undertaken to protect the environment in exchange for public services and land tenure.
Films in this series