CPTnet

CPTnet is the news service of CPT, providing daily news updates, reports, reflections, prayer requests and action alerts.

 

Prayers for Peacemakers 21 June 2018 Colombia

Prayers for Peacemakers 21 June 2018  Colombia

Pablo Santiago, a social leader from the village of Micoahumado, in the South of Bolívar, marches in Barrancabermeja after the recent
Agrarian Summit on the 2nd of June. Over 200 leaders from the region gathered to formulate a proposal and express concerns around
one of the issues that affect them most - energy and mining policies. Photo: Caldwell Manners/CPT

 

Pray for the Colombian peacemakers who, in an adverse political context, are still struggling for their rights, despite the threats to the physical and emotional integrity of them and their families.We also ask you to pray for those who wish to continue the system of injustice and inequality and threaten the lives of Christian Peacemaker Team-Colombia’s partners.

Elections just happened. A new government has been elected after the two terms – four years long each—of Juan Manuel Santos presidency. The new President, Ivan Duque, has publicly expressed his disagreement with large sections of the Peace Agreements signed between the Santos government and the FARC-EP guerrilla group. He has not only promised to try to alter them significantly but also managed to push the Senate to postpone the implementation of the judicial muscle that would implement the agreements. This has raised concerns within the international community that praised the agreements as a holistic approach to peace that searches for the truth and reparation to victims.

Moreover, Duque and his party have a political platform that is very much favourable to large business interests. His party and that of the former president Alvaro Uribe Vélez, Duque’s mentor, have historically been named by local human rights organizations as an actor in the conflict financing armed groups. Several political analysts have claimed that the changes he wants to push through Congress will protect large business interests and ignore the needs of small farmers, turn their back to victims and strip the most vulnerable Colombians of their rights.

Although the agreements brought a sense of safety and instilled hope in the hearts of many, the real threats are strong as always. Since the signing of the agreements, over 300 environmental activists, social leaders and human rights defenders have been assassinated by armed groups that still exist, whether insurgent, paramilitary or state forces. Unfortunately, the Colombian state has not guaranteed this environment for peace.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES SOLIDARITY REFLECTION: Being wise as serpents amidst the politics of (w)rec(k)onciliation

 

On 30 May, participants of the Pilgrimage for Indigenous Rights sat with anticipation in the classroom of University Blue Quills – a former residential school – as we waited for Members of Parliament to cast their vote for Bill C-262 for the 3rdvote in the House of Commons. Admittedly, my excitement for the passing of Bill C262 in the House was dampened by listening to PM Justin Trudeau defend the controversial plan to purchase the Transmountain Pipeline for $4.5 billion as he vehemently argued that it’s in “Canada’s national interest.” 

Rewind a month. Steve Heinrichs and I traveled to Burnaby Mountain on the invitation of Will George, project leader of Protect the Inlet and member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. He extended a call for spiritual leaders and people of faith “to stand with us in our defense of the land and the waters… for the sake of reconciliation and decolonization.” While there, we visited the Protect the Inlet encampment and planned our action with a small group of CPT- and church-affiliated folks to stop vehicles from entering the Kinder Morgan Tanker Terminal on Burnaby Mountain.  

On 20 April, our small group engaged in prayerful civil disobedience and prevented vehicles from entering the terminal for over 6 hours.  I was able to walk away scot-free, but my friend Steve was charged – along with another 170 land protectors previously charged – and he has come under scrutiny from people in the Mennonite Church he faithfully serves (see http://www.canadianmennonite.org/stories/both-ends-pipeline). Unfortunately, not everyone fully appreciates the important role of civil disobedience, the right to free, prior and informed consent, and the threat fossil fuel industry poses to climate, the land, and its peoples. 

Prayers for Peacemakers 13 June 2018 Palestine

Prayers for Peacemakers 13 June 2018  Palestine

#GreatReturnMarch in Al-Khalil (Hebron) on May 14th, supporting Gaza's protests for the right to return. 

Pray for the families, the friends, co-workers, and neighbours of the Palestinians killed during the March of Return.  Pray for the journalists and the medics who continue their work despite the uncertainty of safety and despite the sorrow over colleagues who were murdered. Pray for the human rights monitors who are beaten and threatened with death for exposing the crimes of the Israeli military. Pray for those who continue to march and continue to struggle for freedom and survival.

Pray for the world to see the atrocity of the occupation and demand justice. Pray for a free Palestine.

Prayers for Peacemakers 6 June 2018 Iraqi Kurdistan

Prayers for Peacemakers 6 June 2018  Iraqi Kurdistan

A CPTer talking with our partners from the Kurdistan Institute for Elections

Remember the people of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan in light of the 12 May parliamentary election. More than 7,000 candidates representing many political parties campaigned for 329 seats in the Iraqi Parliament. No party received a majority of seats so coalitions are being formed to identify the next Prime Minister of Iraq. Less than 45% of the citizens voted in this election, indicating widespread distrust of parties and candidates. The Iraqi Independent High Electoral Commission is investigating charges of election fraud in some locations. 

COLOMBIA: Our next delegation needs you 26 June– 6 July!

Our next Colombia delegation needs you! We are urgently seeking more participants for a delegation scheduled to take place 26 June– 6 July. Without more applicants, the delegation cannot proceed.

Delegations are the best way to engage with CPT’s work and meet our amazing partners firsthand. If you or somebody you know is excited to learn more about CPT, there’s no better time than now!

Learn more about the delegation, and how to apply, here.