Statement by Christian Peacemaker Teams Colombia Regarding the End of the Unilateral Ceasefire by the ELN
On 1 April of this year, the National Liberation Army— ELN announced a unilateral ceasefire in response to the great difficulty that Colombia faces today with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our #CPTJusticeJourney began at the start of Lent, on February 26th. Since then much has changed as communities across the world respond to the spread of the Coronavirus. While Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) have suspended physical accompaniment across programs, we continue to seek out ways to be present, adapting to online strategies of advocacy and accompaniment in response to our partners’ needs.
We seek prayers for the thousands of women who are living in quarantine with violent abusers. The Colombian government decreed a preventive and obligatory isolation from the 24th of March until the 13th of April for all Colombians as a way to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. This quarantine raises the risk women who live with abusive partners face. The U.N. issued a warning that violence against women will be on the rise and that those with the authority to do so must take special measures to address this issue.
A PRAYER FROM LAS PAVAS, COLOMBIA
The farmers of the community of Las Pavas, Colombia invite us to join in prayer for each of their dreams to achieve peace and return to their lands.
LISTEN AND JOIN IN THIS COLLECTIVE PRAYER!
We pray that the victims of systematic violence, as well as their families and communities, may find the truth, peace, restitution and justice they deserve after spending more than 60 years in conflict. We pray for the members of the Congress who have an important task to protect and guarantee the victim's rights and allow the transitional justice to interact with ongoing laws in order to fulfill guarantees for reparation and non-repetition.
In a world where violence and conflict are constant, nonviolence and peacemaking has become a true alternative. Christian Peacemaker Teams and other international civil society movements offer real alternatives to violence in volatile situations in spaces where there is still a quota for dialogue and interlocution through accompaniment.
I grew up in the Mennonite church in southern Ontario farm country, with a rich education in social justice that has lead to a lifestyle of solidarity and communion with communities in several parts of this beautiful world. I currently reside in Amman, Jordan, and together with my partner Alaeddin we’re adding life and creativity into the Amman art scene.
Recently in Latin America massive mobilizations and important social outbursts will surely lead to major political transformations and determine new directions for countries such as Ecuador, Chile and Bolivia.
We ask for prayers for 17-year-old Dilan Cruz, his family and those who love him as they mourn his loss. Dilan was killed by the ESMAD (Colombian riot police) as he participated in a nonviolent protest. We also ask for prayers for the people who are raising their voices in nonviolent ways demanding to be heard and prayers that those in political power will hear the voices of the people