Colombia

COLOMBIA: The slow struggle for land and justice

“Since 2005… no, since 2002 we are fighting on this land,” Eugenio tells me when I ask him about the history of the process and struggle that has led to this day. We are sitting in the shadow of the church building in El Garzal, watching the people come and go to register their land with the ANT (National Land Agency). Eugenio has fifteen hectares of land in Nueva Esperanza, the neighboring community to Garzal whom CPT also accompanies — “poquita,” (“little”) he says

Voices of Holy Week 2019:  Solidarity in campesinx communities

The solidarity in the campesinx* communities working for the right to their territory is the fundamental base around which the unity of the community consolidates. Unity is a force that is born from the heart and at the same time lies in the ground until life puts down roots into the territory; outside of that community it does not exist. The campesinx communities in Colombia are one with the earth, they run with the river, vibrate with the wind, grow with the rain, their surroundings are their home and their neighbors are their family.

Prayers for Peacemakers 9 May 2019

Please pray with us for the community of Guayabo in the upcoming week. We pray for the hearing on 15 May in which testimonies for the legal case of Guayabo will be officially recorded. May the witnesses find the strength and clear words to speak up against the injustice and violence that they have experienced and that throughout the last years have displaced twelve families and affected more than 100 persons working that land. May the officials be moved by the spirit of truth and start to use their power for good instead of abuse.

A proud campesina has dreams for her people

There is a pace for justice. And Justice, which is something different from the justice of the courts, has it own pace. Both the big and the small have a complex, difficult, sometimes elusive and even utopian relationship in the context of an armed conflict. Colombia is deeply marked by more than 50 years of conflict, which have shaped the present through violence, fear and coercion. While justices travel at their own paces, life can slip through our fingers.   It happened to Teacher Henry from El Guayabo, when a rabid cancer took his life before either justice, big or small, even showed its face.

COLOMBIA: More than 500 responses to El Guayabo Campaign

The campaign that CPT Colombia launched during the month of January was a great success. More than 500 people contacted the Secretary of Government of Puerto Wilches, Edmundo Arias and the Vijagual Police Inspector, Diego Andres Torres. The campaign requested that they stop the scheduled public hearing and take no further action on the land of El Guayabo until there is an exhaustive review by the national authorities responsible for all the irregularities surrounding this case.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 6 March 2019 Colombia

We pray for the distribution of land titles process that is restarting in El Garzal this month after six years of dormancy. We pray for justice and healing for the campesinx families affected by the evictions, the threats and the violence of the past. We pray for just and swift decision-making by the authorities. May this process not get lost in bureaucracy and corruption or last longer than necessary.

CPT-Colombia rejects ELN violence and Colombian government response

On the morning of Thursday, 17 January a car bomb exploded inside the grounds of the General Santander Police Cadet Academy in Bogota killing twenty-one (including the car driver) and injuring over seventy people.  In a declaration sent on Monday, 21 January, the National Liberation Army (Spanish acronym, “ELN”), Colombia’s largest remaining guerrilla group, claimed responsibility. It declared the attack a legitimate act of war, because the attack was carried out against a police station.  It also justified its actions by saying that the Colombian military carried out attacks against the ELN in December. The ELN had declared a unilateral ceasefire during December as a show of good faith in advancing a negotiation process that could lead to a permanent agreement.

COLOMBIA: CPT-Colombia and other NGOs respond to court ruling stripping Las Pavas community of its legal rights

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT)-Colombia, alongside six other human rights and accompaniment organizations, recently wrote a public statement regarding a December ruling by a judge in the Specialized Circuit Court in Cartagena. She ruled that the campesinxs of Las Pavas cannot legally be categorized as forcibly displaced—even though paramilitaries drove them off their land—because they cannot prove they own their property.The ruling contradicts the body of international human rights law, and case law by the Supreme Court of Justice. This decision has serious implications for the legal continuity of the case, for each family that has been resisting on and harvesting the land and for the hope of land reform in Colombia.
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