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.
For Lola Camayo Fernandez, acting governor of the Nasa Kiwnas Cxhab Reservation (Putumayo), building peace starts at home, talking to young people and sharing stories. The problems they currently experience are a product of the impact generated by oil interests in the area, which has lead to environmental contamination and health problems for the people. “The 1991 Law 21 has not respected what was agreed in Convention 169 of the International Labour Organisation with regards to indigenous peoples” she comments. It is a legal instrument which should guide the Colombian State’s policy for interacting with indigenous peoples within their land, recognising that their ancestral condition pre-dates the national State. “The Peace University will be another peace building instrument that will strengthen our future as a territorial community and as part of the Colombian people”.
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.