It wasn’t my day to die

These are the stories of people who reflect Colombia’s diversity and who are united by the pain wrought by the armed conflict, and through a shared hope for a true and lasting peace.

Nicodemo Sánchez has waited many years for reparations and justice for the extreme violence he and his family had to go through in the department of Caqueta 17 years ago.  They had to leave their land and their farm. “The paramilitaries captured me. They tied me up and dragged me. They warned me that the next time if they found me they would kill me.  It was hard to leave what I had spent so many years building up”.  They left for Inza, in Cauca, where they now have a small plot of land where they grow coffee, plantain, yucca, corn and beans for their own consumption.  “We don’t have a lot of resources, but we have work”. Nicodemo and his family are still waiting for the reparations that the Colombian state promised victims of violence and displacement. He hopes to have the opportunity to recover what he has lost… “another plot of land to sustain us and for the future generations”.  His circumstances have led him to become a leader committed to the environment, particularly to defend the water; a struggle that has lead to both him and his family becoming the target of death threats.

Delphine and Mario wrote the stories for the ‘Beautiful madness’ after a trip to the Naya river basin in June 2016.  During that journey they accompanied the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission (CIJP) and met with women and men from indigenous, Afro-descendant and farming communities from around Colombia, and witnessed the inauguration of the University for Peace’s first campus, the beginning of an initiative that seeks to generate initiatives that will bring peace to the territories.

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