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: Celebrating Resistance

CPTnet

31 October 2017

COLOMBIA: Celebrating Resistance

by Carolina Gouveia

Doña Fanny Garcia

Doña Fany García, co-founder of Cahucopana, while planting in memory of the victims killed from her region. “Forgive is not to forget, it is to not allow history to repeat itself." Photo: Caldwell Manners

September 17 was a long day. We woke up early and traveled to Remedios, Antioquia where we met a caravan of about 30 people who were also preparing for the long journey of another 6 hours until the village of Lejanías. Joy and energy were palpable during this long ride. People were loud, singing and even dancing. The reason for the party may seem odd at first: Cahucopana (Corporation for Humanitarian Action, Peace and Coexistence of North-Eastern Antioquia) was recognized as a subject of collective reparation by the Unit for Attention and Reparation of Victims of the conflict in Colombia. They were celebrating that the state recognizes them as victims. It seems absurd but it makes sense.

The conflict in Colombia lasted more than 50 years. Many people lost their lives. Many lost sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. Many of them do not know what happened to their family members. According to the Victims Unit, Colombia has 8,532,636 direct and indirect victims of the armed conflict.

In 2016, the peace agreement between the FARC, formerly known as Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, and the state created the Integral System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition. This system exists in order to guarantee that what happened during the conflict will never happen again. One of its mechanisms is the recognition of individual and collective victims, such as the organization Cahucopana. Upon being recognized as victims, the process of reparation begins. Depending on the context, it may include restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction, which means the verification of the facts and full and public disclosure of the truth, and guarantees of non-repetition.

Prayers for Peacemakers, 18 October 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 18 October 2017

Prayer for Alvaro Garcia, who is reuniting with his family, community and land after 18 months of imprisonment following his leading role in the struggle against displacement. Christian Peacemaker Teams - Colombia has been accompanying Alvaro's village of Bella Union and El Guayabo since 2013.


Today we hold in our hearts Alvaro Garcia, human rights defender and leader of Bella Union community's struggle against displacement, who was reunited with his family on Friday October 13 after 536 days of imprisonment.


We pray that Alvaro is gentle with himself as he transitions home,

that he can connect with his family and community in meaningful ways.

May he experience joy being back on his land.

May You guide him to remain grounded in his spirituality and strength as the criminal legal case continues,

grant him the patience and grace he needs to trust in the work of the lawyers and the social organizations that are supporting the process.

May he continue to keep his spirit alive as the land struggle persists.

May he lead his community with courage, bravery and resiliency.

May Alvaro know that he is accompanied in this struggle,

that he is supported by networks larger than Bella Union and El Guayabo.

Amen.

Alvaro Garcia's joy of release
                            Alvaro Garcia released!

COLOMBIA: Palm Oil Company Retaliates After Las Pavas Receives Favorable Court Ruling

CPTnet

17 October, 2017

COLOMBIA: Palm Oil Company Retaliates After Las Pavas Receives Favorable Court Ruling

by Caldwell Manners

Twenty workers of palm oil company Aportes San Isidro on the morning of September 8 occupied and planted over one hundred palm oil tree saplings on the Las Pavas farm, only two weeks after the Consejo de Estado, Colombia’s highest administrative court, ruled in favor of the campesinxs of Las Pavas. The court’s decision affirmed the Colombian land institute’s (INCODER) finding that through the process of eminent domain the 3000 hectares of land in dispute belonged to the state. The responsibility now lies in the hands of INCODER’s successor, the Agencia Nacional de Tierras to implement their decision and guarantee the campesinxs’ right to return to their land.

A boy from las Pavas

A boy from Las Pavas plucks a palm oil nut. Photo: Caldwell Manners

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