Archive

July 11th, 2014

COLOMBIA URGENT ACTION: Sign petition protesting violent eviction of El Guayabo Community members from their land.

[Note: The following has been adapted for CPTnet. The release on CPT Colombia's blog contains a gallery of photos showing in more detail the events of the day.]

On Thursday 26 June, forty-five riot police, led by Leonel Gutierrez Lagares, Inspector of Police of Vijagual, raided the house of Henry RincĂłn Rinel, a school teacher in El Guayabo.  After four attempts at eviction over the last year, Inspector Gutierrez Lagares, with only eighteen hours notice, ordered the surrender of RincĂłn’s house.  Riot police entered the property, using fifteen tear gas canisters within the span of seven to ten minutes to disperse community members who had gathered to protect the house and take control.  During that time, riot police caused injury to several community members including severe reactions to the tear gas, lesions, and blows to the body.  The community remained peaceful during the eviction and members were surprised by the police violence.

Take Action: Sign the petition and write to the community.

Prayers for Peacemakers July 11, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers July 11, 2014

Pray for the people of Grassy Narrows.  The Supreme Court of Canada ruled today that the Ontario government could permit industrial logging on their traditional lands today. 


Epixel for July 13, 2014



 I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word. Psalm 119:107

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

July 4th

PALESTINE: CPT condemns deaths of Palestinian civilians caused by Operation Brother’s Keeper

On 12 June 2014, after the kidnapping of three yeshiva students, Israeli forces launched  â€śOperation Brother’s Keeper.”  This offensive included 2,200 home raids, 419 arrests, and resulted in at least eight deaths that we can confirm were directly related to the actions of the Israeli military and one death allegedly caused by Israeli civilians.  CPT strongly condemns the killings of Palestinian as well as Israeli civilians, the massive human trauma caused by the Israeli military, and violence incited by Israeli policy and political speech.  We grieve with the families of all who have lost loved ones during these terrible times.




Picture of Mohammad Abu Khdeir widely circulated in
Palestinian social media with hashtag #Don'tBurnOurBoys

July 1st

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine responds to incidents occurring after teenagers’ bodies discovered

Upon the announcement that the bodies of Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Fraenkel had been found, the Israeli military closed the Halhul area for about two hours and arrived at the homes of the two Palestinian suspects Amer Abu Eisha and Marwan al-Qawasmeh in northwest Hebron.

As CPT was arriving on the scene, the military presence was growing.  Many Palestinians were also gathering in the neighborhood.  As the crowd grew, the military attempted to disperse the Palestinian onlookers with tear gas and sound grenades.  The crowd retreated, slowly came back, and the routine repeated a number of times without serious injuries.

At about 10:00 p.m., CPT received a call from our partners, ISM (International Solidarity Movement) that settlers from the Tel Rumeida were in the streets attacking Palestinians and internationals.  CPTers left the clashes around the suspects’ homes to monitor the situation in Tel Rumeida.  When they arrived, settlers attacked them, but CPTers did not sustain serious injuries.  As CPTers monitored the situation above Tel Rumeida, the Border Police contingent grew rapidly.  In a quick burst, they stormed the hill towards the gathered crowd of Palestinians and internationals, exploding a sound grenade.  The crowd scattered. In the clash with the military, a soldier hit a Palestinian with the butt of his gun, causing an injury for which he received treatment at a local hospital.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Christian Peacemaker Teams condemns murders

CPTnet
1 July 2014
AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Christian Peacemaker Teams condemns murders





The bodies of three yeshiva students, feared kidnapped on 12 June 2014 were found on the evening of 30 June 2014.  The missing teens, Eyal Yifrah, age 19, Gilad Shaar, age 16 and Naftali Fraenkel, age 16 were found near the town of Halhul, just north of Hebron.  This location is not far from the place that the students were thought to have been kidnapped.  CPT strongly condemns these, and all murders, and we weep with the families of all who have lost loved ones, both Israeli and Palestinian, since the news of the kidnapping. 

In addition to killing at least five Palestinians since the news of the kidnappings, the Israeli military has imprisoned hundreds without charge, raided and vandalized hundreds of homes, some repeatedly, and demolished two homes.  This response to the horrific murders of the yeshiva students will not bring peace, but only more turmoil and violence.  Lord have mercy.

What the Palestine team has observed happening in the Hebron area during the last twenty-four hours will follow shortly.




Israeli military bombs the home belonging to
the family of alleged murder suspect

Chaser Marwan Saadi Qawasmi

June 26th

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.

June 25th

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.

June 23rd

SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Pressure on Firing Zone 918 residents continues



On 15 May 2014, Israeli courts extended the mediation process between the Israeli army and the villages within Firing Zone 918 for another threemonths.  The Israeli army wants to use this area for training.  Israeli, Palestinian and international human rights organizations have condemned its bid to expel the villagers a violation of international law, which forbids forced transfer of the indigenous population of an occupied territory unless the occupying power is safeguarding them from an immediate danger.

During the previous period of mediation, the court allowed rehabilitation of damage done by storms, as well as access to the area by international humanitarian organizations.  As a result, some development was possible in the area, specifically to the schools in al-Fakheit and Jinba.  At the same time, as revealed in an article published on Ha'aretz, army officials admitted using firing zones as a way to deter the growth of Palestinian communities in Area C and to expel Palestinians from where they have lived since before the occupation of the West Bank in 1967.

Since 8 June, the Israeli military has conducted exercises in close proximity to, and on one occasion, inside the village of Jinba.  Some weeks before, the army drove armored vehicles over Palestinian fields close to Jinba and Mirkez, damaging their harvest.

June 21st

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.

June 20th

IRAQI KURDISTAN: Update from the Christian Peacemaker Team in Sulaimani

In the face of the recent violence in Iraq, the CPT Iraqi Kurdistan project is doing well.  CPTers are maintaining a presence there and have been able to accompany and support Kurdish efforts for justice and peace. 

The violence that started in the north of the country was not located in the Kurdish region.  From the border between the autonomous region of Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq, the militant ISIS group has moved down towards Baghdad.  See Isis road to Baghdad.

Kurdish military forces are located at the border with Iraq to contend with any possible violence against the Kurdish region.  In addition, they took the control of Kirkuk—a city of great emotional and political significance to the Kurds.  There are many analyses of how this violence will affect or not affect the Kurdistan, but nothing is clear at this point.  It is clear also that the are many powerful interests behind what is happening in Iraq and what could be the future of the country: One state?  Three states?

But the major concern for the people in Iraqi Kurdistan is the massive influx of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) from the south.  An estimated 500, 000 people fled last week towards Kurdistan—considered the safest place in the country right now. 

The possibility of a U.S. attack, invasion, or support? The role of Iran and Turkey?  What will happen in Kurdistan?  Time will tell. 

The CPT Kurdistan team will continue monitoring the situation and evaluating possible courses of action in conjunction with their partners and advisers in Sulaimani, in case the safety of the region and the city where CPT is located changes. 

Meanwhile, our team hopes to continue supporting Kurdish partners in peacebuilding efforts.  The expected humanitarian crisis—given the number of refugees from Syria and IDPs from within Iraq—will almost certainly take a part of our attention, as it will knock the doors of the CPT project. 

 




Iraqi Kurdistan team with CPT trainees during training session in Sulameini February-March 2014