Recent CPTnet stories

COLOMBIA: Get ready for Days of Prayer and Action 5-7 April 2014

Every year, communities across North America come together in solidarity with our Colombia brothers and sisters in an effort to show policymakers that they want real change in U.S. and Canadian policy towards Colombia.  With the Colombian government and the largest guerrilla group, the FARC, currently engaged in peace negotiations, there is renewed hope for an end to the war in Colombia.  After five decades of unspeakable violence, forced displacements, widespread massacres, threats against unionists and human rights activists, and the economic and social exclusion of indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, let us join Colombians in saying it is time for peace.  This year's Days of Prayer and Action are April 5-7.

Directly translated, the word “adelante” means “forward.”  “Adelante” can also mean “ahead,” with the implied desire to move past the current situation to something further on, to something beyond.  Peace and justice are not static concepts and neither are the people of Colombia.  With one foot in front of the other, Colombians are already moving ahead and going forward in the work of peace and justice throughout the country.  We hope that you will use the resources below and join with the organizations, churches, and ordinary people in Colombia in their desire and action to move forward.

¡ADELANTE!  Peace with justice for ALL Colombians!

WORSHIP PACKET
Dedicate a worship service to peace with justice for all Colombians.  Included are prayers, songs, poems, stories, reflections, and more.  Click here for a bulletin insert to engage your congregati

 

Join our Colombian sisters and brothers
in moving peace forward!  This packet
includes three ways YOU can make a
difference. 
Advocate for a change in US
policy by writing letters to Congress.
Create a display or craft night and what
steps are needed to  finally bring peace
with justice to Colombia. Demonstrate your
commitment to Colombia with  a public action.




IRAQI KURDISTAN/COLOMBIA REFLECTION: Damn Tree

 

[Note: Parwen Aziz is a Kurdish woman living in Iraqi Kurdistan.  She is currently participating in the first CPT training in Iraqi Kurdistan.  She knows firsthand the effects of governments exploiting villagers in the quest  for oil revenue.  She wrote this reflection after a role-play depicting the consequences for Colombian farmers when large corporations take their traditional farmland to plant oil palms, which can produce alternative fuel sources for automobiles. ]

Damn Tree
The cycle of life has been reversed.  Trees defeat the earth.  I do not like to say your name, Oil Palm.  Scents of gunpowder and pictures of distressed mothers because of a damn tree.  When I first heard your name and learned how your fruit could be squeezed and the juice used as a replacement for petroleum oil, I rushed to interrupt my teacher.  “How can we bring this tree to Kurdistan?”  I wondered.  I wanted the response to be that we could import this miraculous tree to our country.  I wanted this to be a substitute for oil so that all warfare, extermination, and destruction over the black substance will not happen to humankind ever again.  But, alas, all my dreams and imaginations were destroyed when I perceived that this tree caused just as much destruction.  This damn tree causes thousands of Colombian families to become fugitives from their homes.  Thousands of families have become low-paid workers in their own fields.

I became depressed when I heard a story of a widow with her son.  They were working in the heat for three months, planting, tending, and harvesting their corn.  All their efforts were fruitless and wasted.  Someone set the pile of corn on fire and the products were burned.  They were left with nothing to feed the children.  I heard her say, “Take as many pictures as you can, take photos of everything here so that the whole world will know of what happened to us.”  War and oppression pivots around corrupt governments and capitalism.  The core point is that the capitalists get a lot of money and they become rich and richer, while the workers and needy people remain poor and disappointed.

Las Pavas writes to President Santos regarding continued attacks on their community

The Farmers Association of Buenos Aires (ASOCAB) yesterday delivered a letter to President Juan Manuel Santos summarizing the continued attacks and threats 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 avoid the 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 continue.

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 Iraqi Kurdistan.

COLOMBIA: Apply now for CPT Colombia’s Organized Labour Delegation 17-31 May


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 delegation.




 

 

 

 

Help us promote this delegation by downloading, printing, and posting posters at your place of work, play, recreation, or worship:


 
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The posters can be printed in Black and White if you do not have access to a colour printerfor more info email delegations@cpt.org

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 5, 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 afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.
Isaiah 58:10

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