Colombia Project

About CPT Colombia

We accompany community processes and grassroots organizations who embody nonviolent resistance as a tool of defense against the violent framework that dominates politics, economics, and culture.

The Colombian people continue to suffer a widespread threat of violence from legal and illegal armed actors after more than 60 years of internal conflict and civil war. Since the mid-50s, social movements that challenge the power structures have been specifically targeted and suppressed by the government.

Our team travels regularly to be present with small farming and mining communities in the rural areas of the Magdalena Medio region, caught in the crossfires of decades of war and more recently, hyper-development. In the city of Barrancabermeja, we also partner with local human rights organizations in their efforts to highlight the effects of a conflict that has permeated the urban social structures through organized crime, micro-trafficking and displacement from rural areas.

Our call to peacemaking means living, working, and worshiping in community, drawing from a variety of spiritual traditions that ground us in a common goal for peace.

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Most recent CPTnet story: 

COLOMBIA: Las Pavas files a public complaint against aggressions of palm oil company and government inaction

On 4 August 2014, the community of Las Pavas filed a public complaint against the constant aggressions committed by the palm company Aportes San Isidro and the lack of government response regarding the actions of this company.  The community, to whom the government allocated the Las Pavas farm 2012 and whom the government recognized in 2013 as displaced by paramilitaries in 2003, continue to be affected by the palm company’s disregard for the legal system.  Aportes San Isidro has committed various attacks against the community, which generate terror, despair, and social breakdown in the community.  The community of Las Pavas also denounces the lack of guarantees from the State, to whom they have reported many times their vulnerable situation and the violence enacted against their members.

Read (in Spanish) Las Pavas’ denunciation of Aportes San Isidro’s violent harassment and the government’s inaction here.

Prayers for Peacemakers, August 6, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, August 6, 2014

Pray that the heart of  Leonel Gutierrez Lagares, Inspector of Police of Vijagual, who has tried to evict the community of El Guayabo five times from its land, will be moved to repentance when CPT Colombia delivers a petition to him this week protesting a violent 26 June 2014 eviction.  Ask that God continue to encourage the hearts of the people of El Guayabo as they nonviolently resist systemic powers trying to move them out of the way.

Epixel* August 10, 2014

Community tries to protect teacher's house from riot police eviction

Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The LORD will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.

Psalm 85:11-13

 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches, related to and appearing with 
a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

COLOMBIA URGENT ACTION: Sign petition protesting violent eviction of El Guayabo Community members from their land.

[Note: The following has been adapted for CPTnet. The release on CPT Colombia's blog contains a gallery of photos showing in more detail the events of the day.]

On Thursday 26 June, forty-five riot police, led by Leonel Gutierrez Lagares, Inspector of Police of Vijagual, raided the house of Henry Rincón Rinel, a school teacher in El Guayabo.  After four attempts at eviction over the last year, Inspector Gutierrez Lagares, with only eighteen hours notice, ordered the surrender of Rincón’s house.  Riot police entered the property, using fifteen tear gas canisters within the span of seven to ten minutes to disperse community members who had gathered to protect the house and take control.  During that time, riot police caused injury to several community members including severe reactions to the tear gas, lesions, and blows to the body.  The community remained peaceful during the eviction and members were surprised by the police violence.

Take Action: Sign the petition and write to the community.

COLOMBIA ELECTION ANALYSIS: Peace won?

We read and hear in the media people declaring that “Peace Won” in Colombia on Sunday, June 15.  However, I have yet to hear someone without power and money say the same.  Here on the CPT-Colombia team, we are all just breathing a collective sigh of relief that presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga walked away from Sunday’s second round election the loser.

Current President Juan Manuel Santos won the election with just 51% of the vote, but enough to keep alive the negotiations to end Colombia’s sixty-year conflict between the Colombian government and the FARC (Colombia’s largest guerrilla army).  Santos bet his entire election on maintaining the negotiation process begun in Havana in 2012, upping the ante five days before the election with the announcement that he would begin parallel talks with the ELN (Colombia’s second largest guerrilla army). 



Election posters of candidate Zuluaga, who would have ended negotiations, at the Las Pavas farm with palm oil corporation
Aportes San Isidro security guards/ Las Pavas community harassers in the background.

Prayers for Peacemakers June 25, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers June 25, 2014

Pray that now Colombians have re-elected Juan Manuel Santos, he will follow through, via negotiations with the FARC and ELN guerilla groups, on his commitment to end the decades-long civil war in Colombia.

Epixel* for Sunday June 29, 2014

Election posters of candidate Zuluaga, who would have ended negotiations, at the Las Pavas farm with palm oil corporation
Aportes San Isidro security guards/ Las Pavas community harassers in the background.

"The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence
against many countries and great kingdoms.  As for the prophet who prophesies peace, when the
word of that prophet comes true, then it will be known that the LORD has truly sent the prophet."

                                                                                                                      Jeremiah 28:8-9
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.
event_view: 
Title Start: End:
Colombia Delegation: The Phenomenon of Land-Grabbing Sat, 07/16/2016 Sat, 07/30/2016
Colombia Delegation: Conflict, Forgiveness and Reconciliation Sat, 09/10/2016 Sat, 09/24/2016

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