Recent CPTnet stories

Prayers for Peacemakers, 27 December 2017 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers, 27 December 2017  Colombia

 

Pray for the families of El Guayabo, Colombia driven off their land by the municipal authorities of Puerto Wilches in a process riddled with legal irregularities.  A wealthy landowner, Rodrigo Lopez Henao, has harassed the families for years and the authorities have colluded with him, despite the rights of the families to remain on the land under Colombian law.

Campesinxs from El Guayabo were evicted from their lands in a procedure full of irregularities and state violence. No humanitarian 

aid was provided and their fundamental rights have been continuously violated. The community gathered to worship and reflect

around the parable of the unjust judge and the widow (Luke 18:1-8).

COLOMBIA: The role of gender in defending human rights

A mural in the OFP’s office. It says, “The capacity to dream has allowed us to raise our voices
to build… autonomy, leadership, peace, empowerment.”

From 7-14 October 2014, as a MCC Seed team we participated in a delegation with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Barrancabermeja, Magdalena Medio. During the week we focused on the work of CREDHOS, the Regional Corporation for the Defense of Human Rights. During the delegation we learned about the implementation of the peace accords and the work of different organizations in Magdalena Medio, we visited rural and urban communities, and we talked with CPT about political advocacy and undoing oppressions.

Although we didn’t talk about it in most of the spaces, I felt that the topic of gender was very present during the week. In many of the spaces we listened to men speak about their context and their struggle to defend human rights. In one community that we visited, only male leaders spoke although there were also women present. In another community we met a very strong woman leader, but we also heard from a male leader who was opposed to her leadership. I would come out of these masculine spaces thinking a lot about the role of gender in the work of defending human rights.

COLOMBIA: Sixty farming families violently evicted from their lands in El Guayabo

On Wednesday, 13 December 2017, municipal authorities in Puerto Wilches evicted sixty farming families from the land they farm to ensure the food security of their families and the inhabitants of the township of El Guayabo.   Police violently displaced the community from eleven farms that they have been harvesting for thirty years, causing a humanitarian crisis.

Campesinx farmers observe while Mr. Lopez’s hired men destroy their house

COLOMBIA URGENT ACTION: Help us stop the imminent eviction of El Guayabo

CPTnet
13 December 2017
COLOMBIA URGENT ACTION: Help us stop the imminent eviction of El Guayabo

Dear CPT friends and community,

Earlier this year a municipal judge ordered the eviction of part of the land that the farmers of El Guayabo have cultivated for decades. The legal process, plagued by flaws and irregularities, including the judge exceeding his powers over the National Land Agency, will deliver a number of hectares to a single person who has never lived or cultivated these lands. This process violates the way land titles are awarded. The eviction, set for Wednesday, December 13 at 8:00 am, will leave 11 families without the source of their daily food violating the right to a decent life, the right to healthy food, the right to work. Likewise, it will put the children's right to education and health in jeopardy, since their families will not have the means to support themselves.

The municipal, departmental and the national governments have turned their backs on the community and have not foreseen emergency measures for this humanitarian crisis.

While the lawyers continue to try to postpone the eviction by legal means, we need to pressure the State to be present and guarantee the fundamental rights of all the people affected.

Dear CPT community, this is an emergency, the community of El Guayabo needs your support. We ask you to make your voice heard, amplifying the community's claim, calling and sending emails to the addresses and numbers that appear below, clearly indicating that the eviction must be postponed until the National Land Agency intervenes in the situation and continues with the legal procedures already in place. Also request that the corresponding humanitarian assistance be guaranteed, the government's indisputable responsibilities.

We also ask you to hold the peasants in your prayers and share this story with your community.

Thank for your support. Blessings,

Colombia Team.

Stiop eviction of El Guayabo

Prayers for Peacemakers, 22 November 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 22 November 2017

Prayer for the peace process to prevail in Colombia and for the full implementation of the agreed upon transitional justice.

This week we pray for the Colombian lawmakers who are responsible for putting the peace accords into action. Jeffrey Feltman, the United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, has expressed extreme concern for the future of peace in Colombia after his visit to the country last week. The transitional justice system was expected to begin in the next few months but has recently undergone amendments in Congress that would exclude politicians and businesses involved in war crimes from the truth commission. This decision will severely debilitate the original agreements and continue to re-victimize the victims of the conflict. The UN has stated clearly that "failure to comply with this essential commitment, after the surrender of weapons [by the FARC], would have very serious repercussions for the process and would not be understood or accepted by the international community."

Men in white peace shirts are watching on screen Colombian president shake hands with FARC leader
People joyously watch Colombian president Santos and leader of FARC Timochenko shake hands.