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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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.

COLOMBIA REFLECTION: I too am a woman

Increasingly, in our Colombian context, the terms “gender equality,” “women’s rights,” and “women in leadership” are being discussed, trampled on, and fought for.

Gender is a touchy subject.  No one wants to be called a sexist or machista.  Women are timidly and boldly stepping forward, and men are shuffling aside, abashed and apologizing as they tiptoe aimlessly around the stage.

CPT welcomes these spaces of dialogue because even through tears and frustrations, we hope to continue listening and learning along our journey for justice.  So we were very excited CAHUCOPANA asked us to accompany its members to Dos Quebradas for the First Regional Meeting of Women from Northeastern Antioquia: “For the Defence of Land and Dignity” 30-31 May 2014.

I was grateful to take part in sessions about unsung women heroines in Colombia’s history and panels with the women leading today’s agricultural movement, as well as a citizen’s workshop where the women of Northeastern Antioquia defined what peace meant to them.  The workshop led to the construction of a political declaration in which these women envisioned alternatives for ending the social violence and military conflict by transforming economical, social, and cultural norms and by creating space for women as political actors.  But the moment that had the most impact for me was an evening fireside conversation around apple sugar cane tea.

COLOMBIA POEM/VIDEO: What's your story?

 

 

¿Cuál es tu historia? from CPT/ECAP Colombia on Vimeo.

on Vimeo.

 

1

Where are you coming from, my brother?

Who took away your land and sent the police after you?

Hasn’t the pain left a wound,

Or have you left your soul on your land?

2

Isn’t it enough to be a repressed woman

who has dedicated herself to harvesting pain?

You are a victim of killer bullets,

shots from the thugs of this terrible oligarchy.

COLOMBIA: Ten questions for the next president

The Colombian people went to the polls on 25 May to elect a new leader for the country.  The incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos was seeking re-election in a race against five candidates, all aspiring to the most powerful office in the land and discussing issues such as education, corruption, environment, and as always, the peace accords with Colombia’s FARC guerilla organization.  He will face Colombian ex-finance minister Oscar Ivan Zuluaga in a 15 June 2014 runoff election.




Sign caption: "Dialogue is the way"

We as CPT Colombia, hope the next president fulfills her/his promise and works for the Colombian people.  Based on our work, the requests of our partners, and communities we accompany, we have created a list of questions that we would like to ask the next president that highlight some of our concerns and key issues for Colombia today:

1. Will you continue peace negotiations with the FARC-EP and ELN?

2. Are you willing to re-negotiate Free Trade Agreements in favor of Colombian small farmers?

event_view: 
Title Start: End:
Colombia Delegation: Free Trade Agreements and Human Rights Sat, 05/28/2016 Sat, 06/11/2016
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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