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.
Most recent CPTnet story:
March 20th, 2014
Farmers Association of Buenos Aires (ASOCAB) yesterday delivered a
to President Juan Manuel Santos summarizing the continued attacks and
received by the community of Las Pavas. They appealed to him, “Mr.
President, you have shown your commitment to victims. By virtue of this
commitment we come to
you, with the hope that the State would indeed act in our favor and
repetition of incidents that victimize us.”
The community restates their commitment to “peacefully insisting”— despite
attacks by palm oil company, Aportes San Isidro´s armed security—that the law
provides the means to their complete ownership and right to the land. In spite of winning the National Peace
Prize in November and being re-recognized by the government agency that
manages reparations to victims, Unidad Nacional de Atención y Reparación
Integral a las Víctimas, the attacks and threats against the community
As recently as 6 March, at 7.15 pm, under the cover of complete darkness, the palm oil company’s guards threw bricks
into the living areas of homes and onto roofs, creating dents.
See reflection on the damage caused by the palm oil industry
written by Parwen Aziz, who is currently participating in the Christian Peacemaker Team training in
March 11th, 2014
Our May delegation should be especially appealing to those involved in
organized labour. Colombia
continues to be the most dangerous place on earth for trade unionists. Participants in this delegation will
meet with public and private sector union leaders, as well as organized
informal sector self-employed workers. Activists in all three groups are threatened because of their
efforts to protect workers’ rights and livelihoods.
Participants will also spend some time in north-east
Antioquia—the state/province hardest hit by anti-labor violence—where they will
be hosted by our partner, human rights organization CAHUCOPANA, and learn about
its grassroots struggle to promote and defend the human rights of campesino
farmers, artisanal miners, and organized labour.
Participants will also learn about how the Canadian and U.S.
“free trade” agreements with Colombia have adversely affected Colombian and
North American workers’ rights.
Apply now! Share
this information with your coworkers! Help protect your own jobs and stop the wage race to the
bottom, which causes the brutal repression of Colombian rights and those of other
workers in the global workforce. Get
your own labour union involved by sponsoring representatives for this
us promote this delegation by downloading, printing, and posting
posters at your place of work, play, recreation, or worship:
|POSTER ALTPOSTER ALT|| |
|The posters can be printed in Black and White if you do not have access to a colour printer||for more info email firstname.lastname@example.org|
March 5th, 2014
Prayers for Peacemakers, March 5, 2014
Pray for the community of Guayabo, Colombia, which
successfully resisted an eviction in November, but still fears the intervention
of illegal outside armed actors.
Erik Yesid Payares, 32, a leader for
the community of Guayabo, asked CPT’s Colombia team to publicize the following
request this week: “It is important to us that this problem is made known. We are humble people of peace and small
farmers. We live in a critical
situation under threat. We ask
that you help us and not abandon us.”’
|Epixel* for 9 March 2014|
|if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the
then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be
like the noonday.
|*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from |
the upcoming Sunday's
Revised Common Lectionary readings.
January 20th, 2014
On Friday January 10th, Salvador Alcántara, pastor and leader for the community of El Garzal and Nueva Esperanza, and his family returned to their home. Paramilitary threats forced pastor Salvador and his family to leave El Garzal in June of 2013.
After 7 difficult months away from family and church community, Salvador glowed with joy as he and his family unloaded boxes and swept away cobwebs. “I am thrilled to be home” he said over dinner with his children and grandchildren, “now I really feel free”
January 11th, 2014
It was a Christmas perhaps more akin to that first one in Bethlehem than the ones I am used to in Canada. No fancy lights—no electricity except for a diesel generator that gets used occasionally at night. No Christmas tree, nor gifts under it. No alcohol. No turkey. And, thankfully, without the cacophony of extremely loud music around our house here in Barrancabermeja, where neighbours set up humongous competing sound systems in front of their houses to celebrate the season.
Our main reason for
visiting was to accompany Garzal's twice-displaced leader and pastor, Reverend
Salvador Alcántara and his family, so they could spend Christmas with family
and loved ones in Garzal. Salvador and his family had to leave the area again
last May because of death threats. They miss Garzal very very much! Salvador
described the feeling of being back, albeit for only three days, as like being