Archive - Nov 2008

November 19th

Prayers for Peacemakers, Wed., Nov. 19, 2008


Pray for the indigenous people of Colombia who have marched by the thousand from the south to Bogota in their struggle for land rights and respect. Pray for strength, courage and a peaceful arrival.

Doug Pritchard
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Toronto, Canada

IRAQ: Kurdish Regional Government fails to make reparations displaced people; some return to villages in spite of bombings

CPT in Iraq visited the village of Kani Spi on 14 November 2008.  It is in a cluster of six others that have been under intermittent attack by Iranian missiles since last year.  The team met with a man who lived through the bombing and who is serving as the representative for the fifty-three families of Kani Spi.  He provided copies of the paperwork, filed in January with the government at its request, detailing the destruction of the villagers’ livestock and agriculture and listing the necessary reparations, totaling more than $200,000.  The villagers have yet to receive any funds.

November 17th

AT-TUWANI: Israeli settlers attack Palestinian shepherds, kill donkey, injure internationals.

Video of the settler attack and the donkey killed by Israeli settlers

On 15 November 2008, around 9:00 a.m., approximately fifteen masked Israeli settlers from the illegal outpost of Havat Ma'on attacked three Palestinian shepherds who were grazing their flocks in a valley south of the outpost.  The settlers came running down from a ridge above the shepherds, hurling rocks. The shepherds were able to get their flocks away before the rocks injured them.

During the incident, the settlers were able to steal two of the shepherds' donkeys.  The settlers killed one donkey with a knife wound in the chest area.  They slashed another across the throat, but the donkey survived.

November 15th


16 October

Julian Gutierrez and Sarah Shirk attended a conference on bio-fuels organized by the regional assembly of the Coalition of Movements and Social Organizations of Colombia (COMOSOC).  The conference focused on palm oil, which can be substituted for diesel, and is being planted aggressively in the Magdalena Medio region.  Presenters noted that cultivation of palm oil damages traditional cultures, decreases food crop availability, and harms the environment . . .

28-30 October

Sarah MacDonald, Pierre Shantz, and Stewart Vriesinga participated in community meetings in Nueva Esperanza and Garzal, in Southern Bolivar. The focal point of each community meeting was a role play, which CPTers conducted together with community leadership. Role plays were designed to prepare the communities for dealing with a consortium trying to buy their land and/or a lawyer trying to convince them to leave the land.Each role play was followed by discussion and analysis, which community members entered into with spirit.Community leadership emphasized that whether or not community members stay on their land does not depend on titles or lawyers, but rather on community members having a vision for how they will develop and live on their land.

November 12th

Prayers for Peacemakers, Wed., Nov. 12, 2008


Pray for people living in the border regions of northern Iraq. They are being bombed regularly by both Turkey and Iran and have had to flee, living now in poorly serviced displacement camps.

Doug Pritchard
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Toronto, Canada

AT-TUWANI: Art Gish’s At-Tuwani Journal released

Herald Press has published At-Tuwani Journal: Hope and Nonviolent Action in a Palestinian Village by CPTer Art Gish.

A sequel to his 2001 Hebron Journal: Stories of Nonviolent Peacemaking, the book offers an insider’s view of the work that members of Christian Peacemaker Teams and Operation Dove do in the West Bank village of At-Tuwani.  Gish documents through vivid stories the everyday struggles of rural Palestinians living under Israeli occupation.  With a sense of hope, he also considers the possibilities for reconciliation between Palestinians and Israelis.

November 11th

COLOMBIA: Colombian Social Movements and the International Community

The 18th and 19th of October, CPTers Sarah Shirk and Julián Gutiérrez Castaño went to Bolivar City in Bogota to participate in the 3rd Coalition Meeting of Colombian Social Movements and Organizations.  Participants discussed many subjects, all connected to one objective: “Peace with integral, sustainable, and lasting social justice.” 

IRAQ UPDATE: 21-29 October 2008


Tuesday, 21 October
Chihchun Yuan, Anne Montgomery, Craig Kite, and Bob Holmes returned to Suleimaniya, ending a two month absence of the team.  A member of the Muslim Peacemaker Teams (MPT) in Najef asked if the team could help find accommodations for thirty soccer players from Najef coming to Kurdistan for a bridge-building tournament between Arab and Kurdish Iraqis.

November 10th

COLOMBIA: CPT urgently seeking participants for January 2009 delegation to Colombian mining communities struggling for survival

CPT is planning a delegation for 13-26 January 2009, to highlight the concerns of Colombia's traditional mining communities.  As well as traveling to Bogota and Barrancabermeja, where CPT-Colombia's full-time presence is based, delegation participants will visit a mining community in the San Lucas Mountains of southern Bolivar province.  There, they will hear firsthand about the miners' struggles to stay on their land and maintain their way of life, despite paramilitary violence, assassinations, unjust accusations and arrests, and the encroaching interests of agro-industry and multinational mining companies.

Now is a crucial time to act on behalf of Colombian's traditional mining communities.  While the communities experience and protest the violence, environmental degradation, neglect, and abuse of their human rights, the Colombian government is negotiating with Canada and the U.S. trade agreements that would further threaten these communities' survival.  Please consider expressing your solidarity with the miners by joining CPT's delegation to the mining zone of southern Bolivar. 

November 8th

COLOMBIA: Tiquisio--struggling for development and peace

When the community of Tiquisio, led by parish priest Father Rafael Gallego, decided to organize in 2002 to confront the violent acts of the guerrillas, paramilitaries, and the Colombian Armed Forces, its members never imagined that seven years later their community process would set an example followed by other groups inside the Magdalena Medio Region, and would receive national and international recognition.