Archive - Feb 2010

February 27th

COLOMBIA: Apply now to join May delegation in solidarity with Colombian miners!

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) invites you to travel to Colombia from 12-25 May 2010 to visit an inspiring association of artisan miners and small farmers that is confronting human rights abuses committed by the Colombian military and a multinational gold corporation.  The Federation of Miners and Farmers of Southern Bolivar represents thousands of people that are struggling to survive in the beautiful San Lucas mountain range.  The AngloGold Ashanti mining corporation is seeking to mine for gold on more than 3 million acres (1.3 million hectares) of land in the region.  The Colombian military and their paramilitary allies have threatened and killed civilians opposed to the corporate takeover of their land.  The delegation will also meet with social justice activists in Bogotá and Barrancabermeja (where the CPT team has been based since 2001).

February 26th

COLOMBIA: CPT holds Ash Wednesday witness at INCODER headquarters in Bogota

In solidarity with the struggle of the people of Garzal and Las Pavas communities, Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) held an Ash Wednesday service on 17 February 2010 in front of the Bogota headquarters of the Colombian Institute for Rural Development (INCODER)—the department responsible for land titles.  Despite verbal recognition of the communities’ right to the land under Agrarian Reform laws and many years of community members appealing for its help, INCODER has yet to provide the communities with official land titles.  Instead, INCODER continues to promote concentration of land ownership in the hands of a wealthy few—some with known links to drug cartels and paramilitaries.

AL-KHALIIL (HEBRON): Israeli military responds with tear gas to Open Shuhada St. demonstration

On 25 February 2010, the sixteenth anniversary of Dr Baruch Goldstein’s massacre of twenty-nine Muslim worshippers in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque, demonstrators attempted to walk on Shuhada Street, closed for years to Palestinian pedestrians and drivers, but were prevented from doing so by the Israeli military.  Activists showing solidarity with Al-Khaliil (Hebron) Open Shuhada Street demonstration held demonstrations on the same day in a number of locations around the world.

February 25th

Prayers for Peacemakers, Thu., Feb. 25, 2010


Give thanks that Mauricio Carrillo, a bus driver who transported the Christian Peacemaker Team to Bogota, Colombia, was released unharmed after being taken at gunpoint, drugged, and held for 13 hours by men who then stole his minibus and all its luggage.

Doug Pritchard
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Toronto, Canada

February 24th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Netanyahu statement on Ibrahimi Mosque leads to unrest

On 21 February 2010, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced the Israeli government's intention to designate as Jewish heritage sites Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem and the Ibrahimi Mosque in Al-Khalil (Hebron).  Netanyahu’s statement has led to considerable concern and outrage in the Palestinian community.  The Ibrahimi Mosque is one of the most important Muslim sites, and is the one most accessible to West Bank Palestinians.  The prospect of these sites becoming closed to Muslim worshippers has aroused special fear and anger in Al-Khalil (Hebron) where the Ibrahimi Mosque because it draws large numbers of Muslim worshippers and because it was the site of the 25 February 1994 massacre of twenty-nine Muslim worshippers by Israeli settler Baruch Goldstein.

February 19th

IRAQ UPDATE: January 2010


20 January

Firla, Pyles and Naar-Obed met with village leaders from six of the eleven villages in Pshdar region.  Together, the group brainstormed ideas about the video campaign and organizing themselves to speak with one voice for their rights and their needs.  "We are too small and the government doesn't care about us.  We need you and other NGOs to speak for us," one village leader said.  Naar-Obed responded, "Think of how annoying a tiny mosquito can be.  A mosquito may be small but it gets a lot of attention."  “  But you can easily swat a mosquito and kill it," another leader responded.  "What about a swarm of mosquitoes acting together as one group?”  Naar-Obed said.  The village leaders agreed that they would work together as a swarm and made plans to return to the camp to make banners for the video campaign.

Prayers for Peacemakers, Fri., Feb. 19, 2010


Pray for the shopkeepers of the Old City of Hebron. Shuhada Street, their main commercial thoroughfare, has been closed to Palestinian traffic for years by Israeli order. A few shops remain open as a sign of resistance.

Doug Pritchard
Christian Peacemaker Teams
Toronto, Canada

February 18th


“This morning,” my neighbor Mona* said to me, “I told my husband that since the kids are out of school and he didn’t need to go into town, I would cook something special and we would have a party.”  Mona has a wry sense of humor and I started to wonder what the punch line would be.  “We were going to invite you, but instead we had a little party with the soldiers and the settlers.”  Mona cocked her head to one side and shrugged, smiling ironically

February 17th

COLOMBIA: Two miners assassinated; organizations condemn murders

 On 10 February 2010, paramilitaries assassinated two miners from FEDEAGROMISBOL, aka, “The Southern Bolivar Agricultural – Mining Federation.”  The Federation is a coalition of peasant farming and mining communities in Southern Bolivar province.  CPT Colombia has accompanied FEDEAGROMISBOL since the assassination of Alejandro Uribe Chacón in 2006.  These communities continue to struggle nonviolently for their rights to their land and to their dignity. 

A collection of civil society groups and non-governmental organizations put out the following statement regarding the murders:

Saturday, 13 February 2010

1.  10 February 2010 around 7 am, Omar Alonso Ospina Restrepo and Jose De Jesus Restrepo left the Municipality of Montecristo for Caucasia, Antioquia in order to buy some parts for their car.  The brothers, Omar Alonso and Jose de Jesus, ages 26 and 40 respectively, were artisan miners and members of FEDEAGROMISBOL.  Omar Alonso was the President of El Dorado’s Community action board and the fiscal watchdog for El Dorado’s agricultural-mining association.  They arrived in Nechi at about 10:00 on the same day and continued their trip to Caucasia.

February 15th

Revisiting Rutba, Part 3--“The other side of American people”

In a brief visit to the  Iraqi town of Rutba in mid-January 2010, seven of us returned to thank medical workers who treated our colleagues injured in a car accident while traveling from Baghdad to Jordan, during the March 2003 invasion of Iraq.  Many residents spoke to us about the U.S. occupation and the withdrawal of troops.