Colombia Project

About CPT Colombia

We accompany community processes and grassroots organizations who embody nonviolent resistance as a tool of defense against the violent framework that dominates politics, economics, and culture.

The Colombian people continue to suffer a widespread threat of violence from legal and illegal armed actors after more than 60 years of internal conflict and civil war. Since the mid-50s, social movements that challenge the power structures have been specifically targeted and suppressed by the government.

Our team travels regularly to be present with small farming and mining communities in the rural areas of the Magdalena Medio region, caught in the crossfires of decades of war and more recently, hyper-development. In the city of Barrancabermeja, we also partner with local human rights organizations in their efforts to highlight the effects of a conflict that has permeated the urban social structures through organized crime, micro-trafficking and displacement from rural areas.

Our call to peacemaking means living, working, and worshiping in community, drawing from a variety of spiritual traditions that ground us in a common goal for peace.

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Most recent CPTnet story: 

COLOMBIA: Lack of guarantees slows the peace process

CPTnet

8 August 2017

COLOMBIA: Lack of guarantees slows the peace process

by Hannah Redekop

Map showing the number of social leaders who have been killed

Leaders assassinated in 2017

The fears of human rights defenders in the region are becoming reality. While giving a summary of the context in the Magdalena Medio región, a member of the social movement of Barrancabermeja commented that “we knew that the postconflict period would be more difficult but we didn’t know it would be so hard”.

Several human rights and victim organizations met together on July 19th with the Peace and Coexistence office of the municipality of Barrancabermeja in order to analyze the new realities of the country in the context of the implementation of the peace accords.

A national representative of the Executive Secretariat for the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) attended the meeting to inform about the new justice mechanism created out of the peace accords. However, this mechanism is not yet functional and has not yet been given the resources to collect evidence and testimonies.

This is one of the many examples that prove that the implementations of the peace accords is behind schedule.  The FARC combatants have handed over their weapons, but there are no security guarantees for them.  There has been great neglect on behalf the the state to institute justice and amnesty for the members of this guerrilla group, whose leaders only recently terminated a 25 day hunger strike after the state expedited a decree that would free the remaining imprisoned guerrilla fighters 

Prayers for Peacemakers. 13 July 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 13 July 2017

Thanksgiving for the suspension of eviction and prayers for further protection of El Guayabo community.  

Two weeks ago the CPT Colombia team asked for a worldwide prayer support for the El Guayabo community that CPT has accompanied since 2013. The local municipal court issued an order to evict 11 out of 150 families from the land that has sustained their lives for over 30 years. Today, we would like to express our joyful gratitude for the wonderful news of the seemingly impossible turning into reality. Just days before the scheduled eviction, which appeared to be inevitable, the Inspector General and Public Advocate offices in Bogotá warned that the human rights of the residents of El Guayabo would be at high risk of violation, and thus on the basis of the Colombian constitution suspended the eviction.

Let us celebrate with the members of El Guayabo community that they are able to breathe more freely now. Let us give thanks to the Almighty for bringing about this miracle. Let us hold members of El Guayabo in our prayers as they continue the process of resistance and liberation from the local armed actors who want their land and will likely plan to retaliate.  

Read more about this joyful victory of El Guayabo.   

El Guayabo people stand with banners

Photo Credit: Marcos Cualbonk.

COLOMBIA: El Guayabo Eviction Suspended


CPTnet

10 July 2017

COLOMBIA: El Guayabo Eviction Suspended

Last week, the eviction ordered for July 5 in El Guayabo was suspended after the Inspector General and Public Advocate offices in Bogotá warned that the human rights of the residents of El Guayabo would be at high risk of violation.

In January, the local court in Puerto Wilches, the municipal center for El Guayabo, ruled in favor of Rodrigo López Henao, in his claim to ownership of the San Felipe parcel of land of which 150 families have been dependent on for the last 30 years. While the residents of El Guayabo were only notified of the eviction on June 30th they have been living with the potential threat of eviction since the ruling, a repetition of the violent and traumatic eviction of the local teacher in June 2014.

Victims of the Colombian armed conflict are guaranteed certain rights under the constitution to prevent a violation of their fundamental rights. The letter sent by the Land delegates of the Inspector General and Public Advocate offices that was addressed to the judge who made the ruling, and the Police Inspector – the public office that enforces evictions – argued that the residents of El Guayabo “have not been guaranteed their right to due process.” If the eviction were to be enforced, the municipal authorities would have to first comply with a list of eight prerequisites pertaining to procedures that guarantee the human rights of persons affected by the armed conflict as required by the Constitutional Court ruling T239/13.

On July 4th, two members of the community visited the Police Inspector’s office in Puerto Wilches to acquire a written statement declaring the suspension of the eviction. The first statement with which they were provided justified the suspension due to the lack of an adequate riot police personnel. Only upon insistence by the farmers was the declaration amended to acknowledge the receipt of official correspondence from Bogotá to suspend the eviction because enforcing it would violate their human rights by omission for not following through with the “procedures of eviction.”

Family in El Guayabo

Photo credit: Caldwell Manners

Oraciones por la Paz. Junio 29, 2017; Acción Urgente de Oración: Orden de Desalojo de El Guayabo

Oraciones por la Paz. Junio 29, 2017

Acción Urgente de Oración: Orden de Desalojo de El Guayabo para el 5 de julio

 
  Un saludo fraterno de los Equipos Cristianos de Acción por la Paz Colombia

Le estamos enviando esta Acción Urgente de Oración para la comunidad de El Guayabo. Se trata de una comunidad de 250 familias que Equipos Cristianos de Acción por la Paz ECAP ha acompañado desde el 2013. Durante más de 30 años aproximadamente 60 familias cultivan tierras cercanas a la comunidad. En la década de los 1980 Octavio López era dueño de la tierra y después de varios problemas económicos decidió dejar la tierra a unas familias del Guayabo para cultivarla. Treinta años después, Rodrigo López, un hombre que afirma ser hijo de Octavio, quiere tomar la tierra de estas familias.

Boy riding a bike through plantain field of El Guayabo Foto: Caldwell Manners

Prayers for Peacemakers, 29 July 2017. URGENT PRAYER REQUEST FOR EL GUAYABO

Prayers for Peacemakers, 29 June 2017

Urgent Prayer Action: El Guayabo Eviction Order Set for July 5


Greetings from Christian Peacemaker Teams Colombia,

We are sending you this Urgent Prayer Action for the community of El Guayabo.  This is a community of 250 families that Christian Peacemaker Teams has accompanied since 2013.  For over 30 years approximately 60 families farm land neighbouring the community.  In the 1980's Octavio Lopez owned the land and after encountering economic problems he decided that he would leave the land to local families to use.  Thirty years later Rodrigo Lopez, a man claiming to be Octavio's son, wants to take the land from these families.  

Boy riding a bike through plantain field of El Guayabo                                                                                                                    Photo: Caldwell Manners

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