Recent CPTnet stories

COLOMBIA REFLECTION: Micoahumado—a world that war has not silenced.


Children dance at the Constituent Assembly 
of Micoahumado.

How can a campesino continue to be a campesino far from her or his land? How can one still be a farmer amidst the pain and anguish of a city? How can one be a campesino among paramilitaries, guerrillas and the army?

The government portrays the campesinos as guerrilla members. It ignores their right to resist death and efforts to force them off their land. In Micoahumado (a small town located in the southern Bolivar province) we witness a reality very different from the one portrayed by the government. The community of Micoahumado is resisting being turned into collateral damage in the war between the guerrillas, the paramilitaries and the national army.

Prayers for Peacemakers May 6, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers May 6, 2015

Join the churches and individuals who are participating in Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia, May 17-18, 2015 or uplift their efforts in prayer.  See the Days of Prayer and Action Facebook Page.   Find worship and action resources here.  Check out what the Colombia team is saying about Days of Prayer and Action.

COLOMBIA: Divine Mathematics in El Guayabo--a Reflection on 2 Kings 6:17

A group of thirteen women from different Christian churches and organizations working in human rights and peacebuilding in Colombia joined a Christian Peacemaker Teams’ (CPT) delegation during Easter Week of 2015, and we may have encountered some angels in the process. This delegation focused on the accompaniment of the campesino community of El Guayabo, part of the municipality of Puerto Wilches, Santander, Colombia. 

This community comprises approximately 250 families who have lived in the region on the banks of the Magdalena River for more than twenty-eight years. Since 2002 they have struggled for their right to remain in the territory, resisting unlawful eviction on the part of the national police and military forces who have conspired and aligned themselves with a man who declared himself owner and inheritor of these lands, without ever having lived there. 

To reach Guayabo we travelled up river by boat from the port in Barrancabermeja for two-and-a-half hours down the majestic, although contaminated, Magdalena River. Upon arrival to this beautiful community we were received by a group of people, including girls and boys with banners of welcome and biblical texts. Their smiles, joy, and ruckus reminded me that I was upon sacred ground, inhabited by people with dreams and hopes. I felt that angels were receiving us, affirming and celebrating our arrival in this sacred territory; a token of His presence and ongoing support of this community, and of us during these days that we call “Easter/” We were in a “holy place”–in sacred territory. And I say ‘sacred territory’ because the people that live there are campesinos: men, women and children who are fighting for their land, which is to say that they are fighting for their lives, because for campesinos land is life, and life is sacred. Sacred also because the community was still mourning the loss of three of its members who had departed this earth due to a boat accident. 

COLOMBIA: Colombians march for justice, peace—and a new deal


Over 10 rappers from Medellinhave been assassinated  
for speaking against the system, 
while many are in 
This movement has encouraged youth to pick up 
microphone instead of the gun in a city controlled by
armed groups. A rapper performs at the April 9th March
in Medellin.

On 9 April, 2015 thousands of Colombians participated in marches for peace in major cities across Colombia.  Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), along with our local partners, participated in the ones in Bogotá and Medellin. In addition to these two marches, many of our local partners from Barrancabermeja and Guayabo also participated in the march in Bucaramanga, Santander.

The date was significant. On 9 April, 1948  Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, a populist leader and Liberal Party candidate was assassinated. Gaitán had been the mayor of Bogota and at the time of his assassination seemed poised to win the presidential elections, based on his platform of nonviolent solutions to the conflict in Colombia. His assassination resulted in massive rioting that destroyed much of Bogota, and led to a long period of horrific violence in Colombia known as ‘La Violencia’ (approx. 1948 to 1958).

The march was also an endorsement of President Santos’ decision to seek a negotiated solution to the armed conflict in Colombia by entering into dialogue with the FARC.  Santos had campaigned on this issue last year and defeated his major rival, Óscar Iván Zuluaga, who, in line with former President Uribe, insisted that insurgents should be defeated militarily.

COLOMBIA: Be part of a true Colombian Peace Process! Join Days of Prayer and Action | 17 & 18 May 2015

3 April 2015
COLOMBIA:  Be part of a true Colombian Peace Process! Join Days of Prayer and Action | 17 & 18 May 2015

Tomorrow’s Peace Starts Today! ¡La Paz de Mañana Empieza Hoy!

Sunday, May 17, is a day of solidarity and prayer with brothers and sisters in Colombia.  Worship resources  are available here!  Monday, May 18 is a day to take action  and call for and end to the conflict and human rights abuses in Colombia. Organizer toolkit resources available here!

Although the Colombian government has now been in negotiations with the largest guerrilla group, the FARC, in Havana, Cuba for over two years, Colombian civilians continue to bear the consequences of the war.  Last year alone, more than 600 human rights defenders were attacked.  Fifty-five of those assaulted were assassinated, and hundreds more were threatened in early 2015. 

Now more than ever we must commit to working with the Colombian people so that people in power hear and implement the proposals for truth, justice and reparations from victims of displacement and other human rights violations as part of a long-term process for building peace.

Continue reading about some of the human rights defenders that CPT Colombia is accompanying.

Human rights Defender Eric Payares of El Guayabo, Colombia