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: "We are fighting the biggest monster, that is, the government."

 

 
 The diocese of Barrancabermeja provided the families of the victims burial plots, at the Garden of Silence cemetery, where eight of the returned remains 
are buried. Photo: Caldwell Manners/ECAP

 

 

Luz Almanza, Jaime Peña and Rocio Campos have more in common than living around the same football field, the site of one of Colombia’s most horrific massacres. On 16 May 1998, all three lost a family member. Their organizing in search of the disappeared and defiance of state impunity is what binds them.

Prayers for Peacemakers 16 May 2018 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers 16 May 2018  Colombia

Pray for human rights defender Lilia Peña and her family as they heal from the trauma of threats to their lives.

On 9 May 2018,  witnesses state that four masked and armed men entered the home of human rights defender Lilia Peña, threatening the lives of her elderly father, her housekeeper and two of her grandchildren. For approximately twenty minutes the armed men held the group at gunpoint repeating several times to Peña—who pleaded with them to take whatever they wanted but not harm anyone—“We´ve come here to kill you b***h.  Through the window she noticed another man who gave a signal to the men inside. The four men grabbed a laptop, a projector, three  cellphones and left.  As they left they shouted, “If you scream we will kill you.”

Peña, the co-founder of the Regional Association for Victims of State Crimes (Spanish acronym ASORVIMM) has received threats on numerous occasions.  In 2013 CPT accompanied Lilia for several days after someone threatened to throw a grenade into her house.  

Being a human rights activist like Lilia is an incredibly risky venture. According to the Colombian government's Human Rights Protection Office(Defensoria del Pueblo) from January 2016 to the 27th of February 2018, 282 community leaders and human rights activists have been murdered. 

CPT INTERNATIONAL: APPLY NOW for summer Colombia and Indigenous Peoples Solidarity delegations

 

 

 

The Christian Peacemaker Team Colombia and Indigenous Peoples Solidarity Delegations still have openings!  

Get your application in for the June 26-July 6, 2018 Colombia delegation by May 26.

Click here to apply.

COLOMBIA PHOTO ESSAY: Love for the land

 

 

From Barrancabermeja to the heart of Las Pavas.

This photo essay summarizes the experience of the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Holy Week delegation. It collects stories. Stories made into songs and memories that give an account of some dynamics and realities of the Magdalena Medio region, in particular the Las Pavas community.

Prayers for Peacemakers 11 April 2018 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers 11 April 2018  Colombia

Pray that in the upcoming presidential election, Colombians will vote with a heart of peace and not of stone.

On 11 March Colombians voted for a new congress and on 27 May they will vote for a new President. Ivan Duque, right wing presidential candidate supported by former President Alvaro Uribe, a staunch opponent of the agreement between the FARC and the government, promises to make changes that could drastically derail its implementation.  Duque and Uribe argue that the agreement is too lenient, that former guerrilla members did not receive enough punishment for their crimes.  They prefer a system where FARC ex-combatants are imprisoned rather than receive an alternative sentence in exchange for telling the truth and providing reparations to victims of the conflict. The international community has called the agreement one of the best in history.  

This ambivalence has created a climate of uncertainty in Colombia, generating new levels of violence not seen since the signing of the agreement over a year ago. Although the agreement does not resolve Colombia's issues of violence and injustice, it has helped to bring an end to the war and to shift the focus to the root issues of inequality.  The Colombians most at risk for violence need the agreement to endure.

COLOMBIA: Women’s Popular Organization denounces threats by paramilitary groups


The life and safety of Iris Paola Sánchez is at risk from armed groups and the Colombian authorities are not stepping up to protect her or other members of the Women’s Popular Organization (OFP), whom CPT-Colombia accompanies.

The extensive work of defending human rights carried out by the Women’s Popular Organization (OFP) is built on their almost half a century of experience in Colombia. Their commitment and professionalism has transformed them into one of the key human rights organizations in the region.   Their work has resulted in threats and direct attacks on their physical, psychological and spiritual integrity as well as the safety of their close relatives.

Prayers for Peacemakers 6 March 2018 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers 6 March 2018   Colombia


Pray for the sons and daughters of campesinxs in Colombia, who are so young and yet know the taste of injustice‑-girls and boys who should only be worried about going to school and planning their future, but instead are worried if their parents will have enough to feed them. May these children become women and men willing to fight for their rights and have the hope and wisdom to resist peacefully the powers that oppress their families.


Sandro is ten years old and lives in the farming, or campesinx, community of El Guayabo. He loves to wake up early and milk the cows with his dad. His family’s farm is where he used to spend his days playing while his mother prepared lunch, his father worked the land and his younger sister played with her dog, Esnou.

Late last year, Sandro witnessed the destruction of their farm. He watched the police from Puerto Wilches take an illegal action and demolish the farmhouse where he spent his afternoons.

When he was nine he learned about the persecution of campesinxs in Colombia. He was separated from his dad, Erik Payares, for six months.   His father had to flee El Guayabo due to a false accusation that resulted in an arrest warrant. Sandro learned that the government sides with those who have money and learned that human justice fails.

Left: Remains of Sandro’s family farm house after the eviction raid on December 13, 2017. Photo: Caldwell Manners/ECAP

Right: Sandro Jimenez explains his understanding of the earth and why he thinks his corner of the world is beautiful. Photo: Caldwell Manners/ECAP 

COLOMBIA POEM: Our Faith

Sandro Jiménez and CPTer Carolina Gouveia chat on the banks of the Magdalena river about the recent eviction his family experienced on December 13, 2017 in El Guayabo. Caldwell Manners/CPT

He has died,
they have told me he has died,
He has died,
I saw him, he is dead,
He has died,
And with him, we have died,
He has died,
And with him our hopes
Have died,
And with him our liberation
Has died,
And with him the light has gone out,
He has died,
And he has left us alone in the darkness,
He has died,
And with him everything is gone… including my life.

But what happened?

 

Prayers for Peacemakers, 31 January 2018 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers, 31 January 2018    Colombia

Pray for the sustained courage and creativity of Colombian communities who assume risk and judicial persecution for taking bold and direct actions that speak truth to power.

Land inequality is at the center of the Colombian conflict. According to Oxfam’s latest report, 99% of the population uses 20% of land, while the elite 1% controls 80%. These historical patterns of forced displacement and land control via the use of illegal armed groups or corrupt government mechanisms have solidified the lack of access to land for the poorest, most disenfranchised Colombians.

 Running parallel to these statistics of structural violence are stories of bold nonviolent direct actions. The farming communities Las Pavas and El Guayabo, both accompanied by CPT Colombia have taken direct actions to highlight the government’s abandonment of their legal processes and to demand immediate action. Farmers in Las Pavas have begun to open up pathways to their farms from which they were displaced in 2012. In years past, they kept these paths hidden in an effort evade hostile attacks by armed security of palm oil company, Aportes San Isidro. On 12 January, the farmers of El Guayabo took a political action by taking back control of the 85 hectares of land from which they were evicted on December 13, 2017. Their act was not an act of vengeance against the land claimant, but a statement to call attention to the state. The farmers ask, “With advances in agrarian reform made during the peace agreement between the FARC and the government, how is it possible for the government to evict nine families for the benefit of one person?” 

A home and a plantain plantation destroyed during the 13 December 2017 eviction in El Guayabo. Photo: Caldwell Manners

 

Read: Communities in Colombia Face Ongoing Security Incidents