Julian Gutierrez and Sarah Shirk attended a conference on bio-fuels organized by the regional assembly of the Coalition of Movements and Social Organizations of Colombia (COMOSOC). Â The conference focused on palm oil, which can be substituted for diesel, and is being planted aggressively in the Magdalena Medio region.Â Presenters noted that cultivation of palm oil damages traditional cultures, decreases food crop availability, and harms the environment . . .
Sarah MacDonald, Pierre Shantz, and Stewart Vriesinga participated in community meetings in Nueva Esperanza and Garzal, in Southern Bolivar. The focal point of each community meeting was a role play, which CPTers conducted together with community leadership. Role plays were designed to prepare the communities for dealing with a consortium trying to buy their land and/or a lawyer trying to convince them to leave the land.Each role play was followed by discussion and analysis, which community members entered into with spirit.Community leadership emphasized that whether or not community members stay on their land does not depend on titles or lawyers, but rather on community members having a vision for how they will develop and live on their land.