Recent CPTnet stories

COLOMBIA: The Popular Strike--A fight that never ends

 

Almost every year since August 2013 farmers in Colombia have taken to the main highways to demand guarantees from the government necessary to cultivate their land and thus maintain a livelihood to support their families; the campesinos, Indigenous people, and Afro-Colombians are not only demanding respect for their territories but also calling for a revision of national policies that currently threaten the development of the rural sector.
These mobilizations are supported by several sectors including students, healthcare professionals, teachers, religious groups and unions, which in turn represent an array of issues affecting the vast majority of the population.

COLOMBIA: Peace, reconciliation and coexistence—closer all the time

[Note: The following piece by CPT Colombia team partner and frequent delegation resource Francisco Jose Campo was written before the signing of the Havana Peace Accords last week.  It has been adapted for CPTnet and to reflect that reality.]

The national yearning for peace, reconciliation and coexistence between compatriots seems continuously more real than utopian. Undeniably, it’s darkest before the dawn. But the dawn of peace that is revealing itself to us is preceded by a dreadful darkness in this long night of a conflict that is not only military (as the military face of the conflict is becoming less vicious), but one that is ideological and political. Those on the far right are playing with the possibility of torpedoing the tangible advances of the negotiations, and the imminent signing of a political accord. Anti-restitution activity is the particular proof in this case. 

COLOMBIA URGENT ACTION: Stop the criminalization of Colombian human rights defenders!

 

 

Dopa petition

 CPT Colombia asks the Colombian authorities to put a stop to the growing trend of judicial persecution and detention of campesino human rights defenders who are fighting for their rights to land and territory.

Alvaro Garcia, campesino leader from the communities of El Guayabo and Bella Union and member of the Victims Association of Magdalena Medio (ASORVIMM), remains incarcerated for almost two months now under false criminal charges.  He is one of two CPT partners who have suffered political persecution and imprisonment in the last nine months.  

Three other leaders from El Guayabo and Bella Union currently have arrest warrants similar to that of Alvaro’s, which severely encumbers the community’s legal struggle and distracts the authorities’ attention from the larger land issue at play.

Join us in asking that the authorities drop charges for all four leaders, release Alvaro and respect the campesinos’ right to remain on the land as the country moves forward towards a post-conflict reality.  

 

SIGN HERE

Prayers for Peacemakers, June 15, 2016

Prayers for Peacemakers, June 15, 2016

Pray for the people of Barrancabermeja, Colombia.  The mayor plans to sell their public water company to a private corporation, which has human rights organizations quite worried.  Pray for the unionized workers at the water company who may lose their jobs if that happens.  

 

*Epixel for Peacemakers June 19, 2016  

 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people; from those who are deceitful and unjust deliver me! Psalm 43:1

 
 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming  Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Quilting Peace--A report from the Vatican Nonviolence and Just Peace Conference

 


From April 11-13, 2016, I had the privilege of representing JustFaith Ministries at a Catholic conference on nonviolence in Rome, Italy. The conference was titled, “Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to a Catholic understanding of and commitment to nonviolence.” This historic conference, co-sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International, brought together about eighty people from around the world—lay people, members of religious congregations, priests, and bishops—whose experiences of nonviolence ranged from scholarly and theological study to on-the-ground nonviolent resistance, to advocacy on a local, national, and international scale.

All sessions were rich with stories of hope in situations of despair, of mending in in places of fracture, of love in places where hate would be easier.

Bishop Paride Taban of South Sudan talked about Holy Trinity Peace Village, the manifestation of his dream, in which members of different tribes who used to call each other enemies now live, work, and solve problems as a community. The bishop’s peacemaking efforts extend far beyond the village, as he has, among other things, participated in negotiations between the South Sudanese government and rebels.

Stories from the Philippines included both the nonviolent movement that led to Ferdinand Marcos stepping down from the presidency in 1986 and the countrywide peace education that has been going on there since shortly after that.

Fr. Francisco de Roux, SJ, shared his experiences from the Magdalena Medio region of Colombia, where he and his teams talked to everyone—the military, the paramilitary, and the guerrillas— in an effort to create peace. In his personal statement he wrote, “in the Magdalena Medio, when we were surrounded by violent groups, we discovered that there is no safety in weapons. That the only true and sustainable protection comes through trusting people. And that to win trust we have to go through a long process of dialogue and mutual acceptance, and unpredicted individual and social changes, in the midst of uncertainties.” Now he is involved in the negotiations for a peace agreement that may finally bring the decades-long violence in Colombia to an end.

Each story added a new patch to the blanket of peace. 

Many more, we need so many more before we can cover the whole world in peace.