Colombia: Reclaiming Youth From War


CPT received this letter from a young conscientious objector in Colombia who worked closely with the Fall 2007 delegation; translated by Michele Braley.

We are the young people of the earth who go through the world with hands united. We do not want another war to poison the night and darken the days.

We live in Barrancabermeja, a small city, significant as the capital of petroleum. Its citizens are pioneers in the struggle for the defense of human rights.

Just like in other cities throughout our country, social injustice, oppression and war abound. But there are also many people who dream, struggle, and forge a future with more dignity and justice for everyone. We young people are a part of this. With joyful creativity – to the beat of drums, with our dances, our songs, our rituals, and all of our artistic and cultural expression – we reclaim young people from the war, we reclaim our identity and keep our history alive. We want to eliminate criminal death and recover sensitivity, solidarity, brother and sisterhood, and hope.

We want to recognize the work of men and women in other parts of the world who contribute to the building of a better society. To our CPT friends who visited us in the first week of October we want to say thank you for getting to know our work and for spreading it to the world. Thank you for strengthening our faith and hope and showing us that we are not the only ones who are struggling. Thank you for the bonds of friendship that we have created and that foster learning and inspire ideas for change. As Mother Teresa of Calcutta said: At times we believe that what we are doing is only a drop of water in the ocean, but the ocean would be less without it.

May God bless us and strengthen us to continue building the kingdom of justice and peace that God has promised us.

God of the Universe, we ask you for victory in the struggle, victory over the hunger that holds back many peoples; victory over the gold that builds cities without souls while the countryside is abandoned; victory over the vice that destroys culture and degrades love and justice for so many people that survive amid exploitation. If all the people of the world would give each other their hand, no one could oppress their brother or sister. God of the Universe, we ask you for peace, the peace that you promised to all people of goodwill.