CPT INTERNATIONAL: Colombia project CPTers complete North American speaking tour

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CPTnet
6 December 2010
CPT INTERNATIONAL: Colombia project CPTers complete
North American speaking tour

 

Members of Christian
Peacemaker Teams Colombia recently completed a tour from Toronto, Canada
through the Eastern United States, the theme of which was Dispatches from
Colombia
: Stories about Communities in Resistance, United States Foreign
Policy, and Militarization.”

In September and
October, CPTers Alix Lozano, Chris Knestrick, and Eloy Garcia spoke at various
public venues, and participated in public actions against The Body Shop, U.S.
militarism, and the hiring of the former Colombian president Alvaro Uribe Velez
as a Distinguished Scholar at the Jesuit University, Georgetown, in Washington,
D.C.

 

Starting in Toronto, public actions began in front of
the international cosmetic chain The Body Shop, bringing attention to The Body
Shop’s complicity in the displacement of 123 campesino families of Las Pavas in the department of
Bolivar, Colombia. After Toronto, the group participated in public actions in
Chicago, again raising the issue of “the dirty war in Colombia” and
the responsibility of The Body Shop and Daabon for environmental and human
rights violations.

From Chicago, CPTers gave presentations in Cleveland,
Ohio; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Albany, New York. It was in Albany that the team
heard the news that The Body Shop canceled the palm oil contract with their
supplier Daabon of Colombia. The year-long public campaign against The Body
Shop had made an impact. Energized by the news, the team continued with the
tour, centering their public actions on denouncing U.S. militarism in Latin
America and the presence of Alvaro Uribe Velez as professor at Georgetown
University.

The tour continued through Rochester, New York, New York
City, Boston, Massachusetts, Washington D.C., Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and
Goshen and Elkhart, Indiana. On 12 October2010, at a demonstration in front of
the White House, in Washington DC, the team presented a large banner—used
throughout the tour, portraying the Georgetown team mascot and proclaiming
“Stop the Dirty War in Colombia,” “No U.S. Bases in
Colombia,” and “Uribe = Paramilitary”—to students of the
“Adios Uribe” coalition at Georgetown for their use in the coming
months of campaigning against Uribe’s new position at the university.

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