In October, CPTers accompanied communities from the Middle Magdalena region to the capital city of Bogotá to participate in The People’s Congress, a four-day gathering of 17,000 Colombians representing popular organizations from across the country.
Subsistence farmers, indigenous leaders, artisan miners, students, unions, women’s groups, members of the LGBTQ* community and conscientious objectors met to assert grassroots proposals for how the country should plan its economy, develop its territory, and govern itself. The Congress agenda addressed issues of land, territory and sovereignty; economy for life, not dispossession; culture, diversity, and ethics for the common good; life, justice and the road to peace; violation of rights and unfulfilled agreements, among others.
Gabriel Henao, leader of the Southern Bolívar Agricultural-Mining Federation (FEDEAGROMISBOL), an organization that CPT accompanies, said, “I am very encouraged by the process. I have hardly eaten anything, but I’m not hungry because I am being fed by the energy of the Congress.”
Participants ended the gathering with a huge march through Bogotá demonstrating that “unity is possible in Colombia and we are weaving it.”
*LGBTQ – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer