COLOMBIA: In Colombia, the real work of peacebuilding begins now


12 September 2016
COLOMBIA: In Colombia, the real work of
peacebuilding begins now 

[Note: This article by CPT Project Support Coordinator
Christ Knestrick and Director of the Ministry of Writing program at the Earlham
School of Religion, Ben Brazil, originally appeared in Waging

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Edinson Garcia, president of the Community Action Committee of El Guayabo calls for the release of community member Alvaro Garcia at a demonstration in front of the court in Barrancabermeja on May 5, 2016. (CPT Manners) 

In Colombia, the real work of peacebuilding begins now

editorial, that there is now no war in the Western Hemisphere.

This is very good news. Yet as poor, rural Colombians know, the reality is much more complex, and the work of building a just and enduring peace is only beginning.

Leave aside the obvious: Colombia’s second-largest guerilla group, the much smaller National Liberation Army, or ELN, has not signed a peace deal. Likewise, the peace deal with the FARC must survive a national referendum vote on October 2, where its opponents will include former President Alvaro Uribe.

Such hurdles exist at the highest, and most obvious, levels of politics. Yet Colombian violence also persists at the granular — and often invisible — level of daily life in rural farming communities. That’s because the nation’s violence has always gone beyond “traditional” warfare between armed groups, and because it has never been only about the Cold War ideological conflict that once fueled insurgencies throughout Latin America. Instead, it’s also about control of Colombia’s lucrative resources — especially land.

Committed to nonviolence, Christian Peacemaker Teams, or CPT, is an international accompaniment organization that partners with local human rights activists and communities in resistance. In Colombia, CPT supports local struggles by using its international network to amplify local voices and advocate on their behalf. Furthermore, CPT offers protective physical presence to individuals and communities that face threats of death and violence.

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Originally published on Waging Nonviolence [September 9, 2016]

CPT trainees and trainers in Europe congratulate Efi Latsoudi for winning 2016 Nansen Refugee Award

Colombia, January 5 – February 5, 2017: Train with CPT – Join CPT’s Peacemaker Corps 

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is currently accepting applications for its Peacemaker Corps.  Join us in building partnerships to transform violence and oppression!  

Applicants must be 21 years of age or older and have participated in, or plan to participate in, a short-term CPT Delegation or internship.  Qualified applicants may be invited to participate in CPT’s intensive, month-long training from 5 January – 5 February 2017 in Colombia, South America where membership in the Peacemaker Corps is discerned.  Trained Peacemaker Corps members are eligible to apply for open positions on CPT teams.  The primary language for the Colombia training will be Spanish with English interpretation.  

CPT builds partnerships to transform violence and oppression in situations of lethal conflict around the world.  We are committed to work and relationships that: 1) honor and reflect the presence of faith and spirituality, 2) strengthen grassroots initiatives, 3) transform structures of domination and oppression, and 4) embody creative nonviolence and liberating love. 

CPT understands violence to be rooted in systemic structures of oppression.  We are committed to undoing oppressions within our own lives and in the policies and practices of our organization.  

CPT is a Christian-identified organization with multi-faith diverse membership.  We seek individuals who are capable, responsible and rooted in faith to work for peace as members of violence-reduction teams trained in the disciplines of nonviolence.  We are committed to building a Peacemaker Corps that reflects the rich diversity of the human family in ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender identity, language, national origin, race and sexual orientation. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: 7 October 2016; direct any questions and send complete application to




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