Building partnerships to transform violence and oppression.

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COLOMBIA: Colombians march for justice, peace—and a new deal

 

Over 10 rappers from Medellinhave been assassinated  
for speaking against the system, 
while many are in 
hiding. 
This movement has encouraged youth to pick up 
the 
microphone instead of the gun in a city controlled by
armed groups. A rapper performs at the April 9th March
in Medellin.

On 9 April, 2015 thousands of Colombians participated in marches for peace in major cities across Colombia.  Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), along with our local partners, participated in the ones in Bogotá and Medellin. In addition to these two marches, many of our local partners from Barrancabermeja and Guayabo also participated in the march in Bucaramanga, Santander.

The date was significant. On 9 April, 1948  Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, a populist leader and Liberal Party candidate was assassinated. Gaitán had been the mayor of Bogota and at the time of his assassination seemed poised to win the presidential elections, based on his platform of nonviolent solutions to the conflict in Colombia. His assassination resulted in massive rioting that destroyed much of Bogota, and led to a long period of horrific violence in Colombia known as ‘La Violencia’ (approx. 1948 to 1958).

The march was also an endorsement of President Santos’ decision to seek a negotiated solution to the armed conflict in Colombia by entering into dialogue with the FARC.  Santos had campaigned on this issue last year and defeated his major rival, Óscar Iván Zuluaga, who, in line with former President Uribe, insisted that insurgents should be defeated militarily.

Upcoming CPT Events

Title Start: End:
Palestine/Israel Delegation Sun, 05/03/2015 Sun, 05/17/2015
Special Earlham Delegation Mon, 05/11/2015 Fri, 05/22/2015
CPT European Convergence 2015 Tue, 05/12/2015 Sun, 05/17/2015
Iraqi Kurdistan Delegation Sat, 05/30/2015 Fri, 06/12/2015
Colombia Delegation Sat, 07/04/2015 Sat, 07/18/2015

Video Introduction

 

Want a copy? Email chicago.office.vol@cpt.org and consider making a donation to cover reproduction costs.

About CPT

Partnering with nonviolent movements around the world, CPT seeks to embody an inclusive, ecumenical and diverse community of God's love.  We believe we can transform war and occupation, our own lives, and the wider Christian world through:

  • the nonviolent power of God's truth
  • partnership with local peacemakers
  • bold action

CPT places teams at the invitation of local peacemaking communities that are confronting situations of lethal conflict.  These teams seek to follow God's Spirit as it works through local peacemakers who risk injury and death by waging nonviolent direct action to confront systems of violence and oppression. 

CPT understands violence to be rooted in systemic structures of oppression. We are committed to undoing oppressions, starting within our own lives and in the practices of our organization.