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CPTnet is the news service of CPT, providing daily news updates, reports, reflections, prayer requests and action alerts.

 

COLOMBIA PUBLIC WITNESS REFLECTION: Killing social leaders is massacring hope

CPTnet
17 February 2017
COLOMBIA PUBLIC WITNESS REFLECTION: Killing social leaders is massacring hope

by Salvador Castro 

Colombia is a country of diverse realities and of melancholic complexities, a place where violence has become a daily bread and the claws of criminal death constantly obscure the way. But, as an oasis in the desert, there exist men and women who refresh hopes and revive dignity and ability to smile again. 

These women and men emerge from communities that are tired of suffering, and being strongly and deeply rooted in the territory, they nourish joys and breathe a desire for freedom. These men and women with their strength and solidarity make the empire tremble, an empire that sends its jackals to devour us.

Salvador reading names of Social Leaders who have been killed

We, members of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), came together from different parts of the world as people of nonviolence to march and stand in act of solidarity and brotherhood with those 123 leaders who had been killed in the last year. With their lives and actions, these social leaders built paths of day-to-day peace. However, their steps were removed from the path, their voices silenced, their roots cut out and their lights extinguished.

But even when hope is weak it is difficult to kill it.

Prayers for Peacemakers. 16 February 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers. 16 February 2017

Sometimes we may think that people joining various state and non-state military and armed groups do so out of conviction. However, that does not entirely reflect reality. Large numbers of men and women have joined armies because of economic conditions, lack of opportunities, limited access to education and other situations of inequality. Many others were forcibly recruited by militias and armies. Many have joined in reaction to oppression and violence against their communities. This is not an apology or justification of war. It is humanizing war.

In the past weeks in Colombia thousands of former members of the FARC began to gather in the so called 'concentration zones' where they relinquish their weapons and begin processes of reintegration into civil society. 

Let us pray for all our sisters and brothers who had been forced to become elements of war. Pray for those who have decided to put down their weapons so that they will have all means needed to accomplish the process of transformation successfully. Pray that the lives of those who chose peace instead of war be protected from vengeance of the opposing armed groups.

 FARC member and her baby

Photo credit: Radio Santafe

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos February 7-February 13

CPTnet

14 February 2017

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos  February 7-February 13

 

Education Disrupted

Pictured here: On two mornings this week, as children tried to pass through the checkpoints to go to school, soldiers delayed them by turning the turnstile on and off. This trapped the children on the inside of the checkpoint and even within the turnstile itself. On this particular morning over a dozen children were delayed after the turnstile was stopped on four separate occasions. 
 
(February 8, 2017)
 

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT Palestine January 2017 Newsletter--A Method to the Madness, UNICEF visit to Tel-Rumeida, and more..

 

CPT Palestine Newsletter - January 2017
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A Method to the Madness

The Occupation of the Palestinian Territories has been in existence for the past fifty years.  There are numerous daily reminders to a Palestinian how this Occupation has wreaked havoc on their lives and the lives of their children.  Few Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza are old enough to know what it is to walk freely without Id checks, without fear of being detained, arrested, having ones home broken into by soldiers and/or settlers, or just being able to move freely in their own town, let alone travel easily out of town.

The checkpoint is one of the most egregious obstacles in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and is a constant reminder to the Palestinian of their lack of ability to navigate  through the town freely without having to pass through a metal detector at least once or twice a day on their way to work, school, shopping or just to visit a friend... Read more



COLOMBIA PUBLIC WITNESS REFLECTION: Memory is resistance

CPTnet
10 February 2017
COLOMBIA PUBLIC WITNESS REFLECTION: Memory is resistance

 by Katherine Crosby

 

“In spite of all the persecution, today we are still here.”

                      ~ A Social Leader in Colombia

 

Our team arrived in Bogotá and has set up with cameras, hats, banners, drums, and megaphone. We begin our march toward the plaza at the center of the city. I am holding one side of a banner that reaches from above my head down to the ground; it stretches across about three feet to my companion holding the other side. I pause to examine the Colombia shaped black silhouette painted across the fabric. Inside of the map are several white dots of varying sizes, each placed in a different one of Colombia’s departments or provinces. The bold, black number on each dot represents how many social leaders and human rights defenders have been killed in each department since the beginning of 2016: 123 in total.

CPTers stand with a banner: Silencio es violencia

For the past three weeks, our group has been in Colombia as trainees with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT).