Recent CPTnet stories

Prayers for Peacemakers, December 2, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, December 2, 2015

Pray for the communities of Garzal and Nueva Esperanza.  They have petitioned the head of INCODER—the Colombian government agency in charge of rural land management—asking for representatives to visit the area to verify and resolve of the issues surrounding the granting of titles and ownership to land.   INCODER returned sixty-four stolen land titles in 2013, and promised to complete their land process the following year, but the communities continue to wait—and face pressures from powerful people who want their land, and who have corrupt local authorities on their side.

*Epixel for Second Sunday in Advent, December 6, 2015
Campesino from Garzal load plantains onto boat
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, "The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
    'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.


 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight,
    and the rough ways made smooth; 
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'" Luke 3:4-6
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

COLOMBIA: Justice delayed is justice denied

 

Pipio’s cows responded to him when he called them by name.

In Colombia the problem is not so much unjust laws, as it is the failure to apply existing laws and legislation in a timely manner. The communities Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Colombia accompanies are hugely affected by these failures, as is the entire country. In effect, such delays result in the continued impunity for perpetrators of crimes, thereby undermining the rule of law’s ability to prevent future crimes. Victims are not only denied justice and compensation; they are also at risk of becoming repeat victims of repeat offenders. The situation in which the campesinos of Las Pavas community, whom CPT has accompanied for five years, have been displaced from their land four times, due to government collusion with the palm oil company Aportes San Isidro, is emblematic. 

Pipio Dies Waiting for Justice

One campesino of Las Pavas who will never see justice is Rogelio Campos Gonzales, better known to his friends in the community as “Pipio.” Pipio was one of the very few members of the Las Pavas campesino community who remained on his land in the face of continual harassment by armed security personnel of palm oil company Aportes San Isidro (ASI). Most of his neighbours had given up and moved back to the nearby village of Buenos Aires. Pipio died on 13 April 2014 after suffering a heart attack. 

Prayers for Peacemakers, November 4, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, November 4, 2015 

Give thanks for the ten new Peacemakers who have successfully completed the 2015 Christian Peacemaker Teams training.  Pray that the Creator will work within them to give them the strength and courage they will need to do the difficult and rewarding work of peacebuilding with our partners in Colombia, Iraqi Kurdistan, Palestine and Indigenous communities.




COLOMBIA: Shots fired in El Guayabo; community responds with nonviolent action

 

Eric Payeres (behind) presents Guayabo’s case to the
 Governor of Santander (middle).

Yesterday, Eric Payares—a leader of Guayabo’s legal struggle to claim its land—along with three other community members heard shots coming from the direction of the neighboring plot currently occupied by armed men working for Rodrigo Henao.

“They’re attacking us once again,” Payares said. “This time they’re firing shots at us.” Over the last year since the eviction on October 29, 2014, this five-hectare plot of land has been a location of continual attacks. Two days ago, similar to numerous previous occasions, Henao’s men cut fence wiring, which allowed cattle to enter and graze on Payares’s crops.

Henao claims that the community displaced his father with the help of guerillas in the 1980s, claiming victimhood through the current Victim’s Law demanding that the land be returned to him. On the other hand, the community has proven to have had no ties to armed groups and claims rightful ownership through occupation and use of the land for over twenty five years, after Henao’s father, Octavio Henao, abandoned the land due to an unpaid debt. This is Henao’s second attempt on claiming ownership. In the early 2000s he arrived accompanied by the notorious Bolivar Central Block, of the now demobilised paramilitary group, the Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC) demanding the community abandon its land. This abuse of the recent victim and land restitution laws, written to bring reparation to victims of conflict, in addition to assassinations and death threats has sent a chilly warning to land rights activists and persons who resist displacement and claim ownership of land.

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 28, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 28, 2015

Pray for the communities in Simiti municipality, Colombia, that are experiencing post-election violence.  Pray that the authorities and those who benefitted from the previous power structure will respect the will of the people.  Christian Peacemaker Teams-Colombia accompanies two communities, El Garzal and Nueva Esperanza, in Simiti.

*Epixel for Sunday, November 1, 2015 
 Happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD.
Happy are those who keep his decrees, who seek him with their whole heart Psalm 119:1-2
 
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.