Colombia

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Train with CPT – Join CPT’s Peacemaker Corps

CPTnet
March 2, 2017
CPT INTERNATIONAL: 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 completed, or plan to complete, a short-term CPT Delegation or internship.  Qualified applicants may be invited to participate in CPT’s intensive, month-long training from 13 July – 13 August 2017 in Chicago, Illinois USA where membership in the Peacemaker Corps is discerned.  Trained Peacemaker Corps members are then eligible to apply for open positions on CPT teams.  

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/spiritually diverse membership.  We seek individuals who are capable, responsible and rooted in faith/spirituality 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: 15 March 2017; direct any questions and send complete application to personnel@cpt.org.

COLOMBIA REFLECTION. Disappearances in democracy: supporting Santiago Maldonado from Colombia.

CPTnet

19 September 2017

COLOMBIA REFLECTION. Disappearances in democracy: supporting Santiago Maldonado from Colombia.

By Marcos Knoblauch

Many people are missing here. And we lack many stories and truths. Throughout the world on the 30th of August, hundreds of thousands of victims of enforced disappearances are remembered. On this date the demand for justice and, above all, the search for truth is kept alive.

More than a month ago Santiago Maldonado was last seen during a repressive police operation against demonstrators in a town in the southwest of Argentina. An indigenous Mapuche community has for many years maintained a process of defense and reclamation of their ancestral territory of the community, a process to which Santiago had joined in solidarity. The forced disappearance of Santiago Maldonado has generated strong demands from local and international human rights organizations. On September 1, some 200,000 people marched to the emblematic Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires demanding from the State the appearance of the young man alive. According to an Amnesty International statement, "during the morning of August 1, 2017, about 100 members of the Argentine National Guard (GNA), a security force of a military nature, entered irregularly and violently into the territory of the  Mapuche Pu Lof in Resistencia community [...] According to the community, the GNA fired lead and rubber bullets and burned objects belonging to the families. "Santiago Maldonado was last seen there and some witnesses indicate that they saw the GNA hitting a bound man and throw him into a vehicle.

Protest in Buenos Aires 

Peaple gather at the historic PLaza de Mayo in Buenas Aires protesting the disappearance of Santiago Maldonado. Foto: Flikr – luzencor

PALESTINE/COLOMBIA REFLECTION: Made in the USA -- Take action to stop military aid

CPTnet
11 September 2017
PALESTINE/COLOMBIA REFLECTION: Made in the USA -- Take action to stop military aid

by Hannah Redekop

Lucas lay on the ground gasping for air, while his community frantically gathered around him, fanning his body and cracking open coconuts with hopes that the sweet water would revive him.  Moments earlier, on that day in June 2014, the Colombian riot police (ESMAD) had forced their way onto Guayabo farmland under illegal orders to evict the small farming community living on the banks of the Magdalena River.  The community had gathered in a line, hands held tight, to peacefully resist the takeover. ESMAD violently beat back several campesino farmers and then fired half a dozen tear gas canisters to disperse the community. Lucas, having inhaled the toxic chemical, had passed out while struggling to breathe.

Campesino man blocks the gate from riot police          A campesino blocks the entry to the farm during the June 2014 eviction in El Guayabo. Photo: Luca Zanetti

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Christian Peacemaker Teams is seeking an Interim Administrative Director

25 August 2017


POSITION OPENING: Interim Administrative Director

Christian Peacemaker Teams – Chicago, Illinois

 Christian Peacemaker Teams is seeking an Interim Administrative Director. We anticipate the position being for one year; hours and wages to be negotiated. Please submit a resume, cover letter, and brief description of approach to interim and transitional processes to hiring@cpt.org.  Review of candidates will begin immediately.

Purpose of Interim Administrative Director:

  • To strategize, coordinate, and aid communication within the organization. This person will work alongside the Program Director to help CPT better align with the mission of the organization to confront areas of lethal conflict and undoing oppressions. 

  • To help CPT assess the administrative components of its work and how it connects to the organization as a whole with regard to projects and Steering Committee including: structure, roles, decision making flow, constituency relations. 

  • Bring skilled understanding of organizational structures and models, and how to make organizational change. The interim nature of the role will allow for greater freedom to provide constructive criticism of areas that are weak in relation to fulfilling our mission, vision, and values of partnership which are not in line with stated CPT values of partnership. Their main purpose is to help the organization change into the new model and prepare us for working with our new Administrative Director.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Message of gratitude to Sarah Thompson as she completes her tenure of service as CPT Executive Director

25 August 2017
CPT INTERNATIONAL: Message of gratitude to Sarah Thompson as she completes her tenure of service as CPT Executive Director 

Dear CPT Supporters,

Sarah Thompson, Executive Director of Christian Peacemaker Teams, will complete her tenure of service in October 2017. 

Sarah's MLK Speech at Goshen College
                                                                                    Sarah Thompson's MLK Speech at Goshen College, Indiana 2017


As Sarah’s time of service comes to a close, the Steering Committee,  Program Director Milena Rincon, and members of CPT would like to take the opportunity to thank her for her hard work, leadership and commitment to the organization, and the holy work of peacemaking.  Sarah’s term has been marked by vision, intelligence and relentless energy. Her dedication to the well-being of CPT is matched only by her desire to further its reach in building partnerships to transform violence and oppression.  During these years Sarah has taken CPT to new places and started new conversations while tending well to the history and relationships that formed the organization.  That is not an easy task, but she performed it with wisdom and grace.  Sarah’s optimism and kindness are inspiring.  She never failed to acknowledge the dignity of every person she interacted with.  We thank her for that gift.

With Gratitude,

 Milena Rincon, Program Director, and the CPT Steering Committee

COLOMBIA: Threats against social leaders

CPTnet

22 August 2017

COLOMBIA: Threats against social leaders

by Marcos Knoblauch

In Barrancabermeja, paramilitary structures exercise direct and open territorial control. The inhabitants of this city witness how paramilitarism has infected the different spaces of the communes through selective assassinations and micro-trafficking. These illegal armed groups, acting as rulers, operate in the territory trying to perpetuate their control over illegal markets such as micro-trafficking.

We must not confuse ourselves: these groups should not be simply typecast as mere criminals. Paramilitaries are organized structures and, as such, support their activities outside the law based on systemic violence and the ineffectiveness of the State, and even with its complicity.

Chedhos

CREDHOS leaders have received repeatedly death threats. Photo: Marian DeCouto/CPT

In a national political context focused on post-agreements with the FARC, Barrancabermeja is the battle arena for the control of the various illegal groups. Whoever raises his or her voice against violence and in favour of human rights will be, in the eyes of these paramilitary groups, an objective on which they will discharge their violence.

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