COLOMBIA: Good Friday Stations of the Cross

April 16, 2001
COLOMBIA: Good Friday Stations of the Cross
by Cliff Kindy

On April 13, CPT and other Christians held a Good Friday Stations of the
Cross vigil at seven sites of violence scattered across the troubled
industrial city of Barrancabermeja in central Colombia. Thirty people from
the Protestant assembly of pastors, the regional Development and Peace
Program (both advisors for CPT in this locale) and displaced families rode a
chartered bus to each site for the participatory witness.

The sites had been chosen with the counsel of religious leaders to represent
the various attacks against the integrity of the city. The first site was
an abandoned school that had been occupied by the displaced families who had
to flee their homes because of paramilitary attacks. A second was the wharf
-- a departure point for the rural areas that are the scene of numerous
acts of terror against the population by the army and paramilitary groups.
Another was a dumping ground used by military and guerrilla groups to
dispose of their victims' bodies. A
bridge that divided the wealthy commercial district from poor barrios
provided the setting to focus on the economic violence that splits Colombia.

The witness highlighted three important truths 1) many Colombians clearly
believe that more weapons from any of the armed groups ( military advisors
from outside the country, the Colombian military, paramilitaries,
guerrillas, delinquents, or narco-traffickers) will not end the violence
that is wracking their country. 2) the United States and Canada add to
the cauldron of violence in Colombia through the aid they give the Colombian
military 3) God is working redemptively through those Colombians who,
through their hard work and resurrection faith, have offered a nonviolent
way out of the violence that threatens to destroy this country.