At the end of last year, in the context of Christmas celebrations, PBI-Colombia met with Father Javier Giraldo, a recognized human rights defender and political and spiritual advisor to the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó. During a coffee break in La Holandita, brigadistas from the PBI team in Urabá took advantage of Father Javier’s visit to talk about Constitutional Court ruling T-342/020 that directly pertains to the Peace Community and, indirectly, to the defense of human rights throughout the country.
The Peace Community of San José de Apartadó’s fight for land, as is the case for many peasant, indigenous, and Afro-Colombian communities, is historic and the most central aspect of their existence.
Today, the need to defend land is more important than ever. A consequence of the Peace Agreement between the former guerrilla group, FARC-EP, and the Colombian government has been a commodification of territories that, due to the armed conflict, were on the periphery of the market system. In the case of the Peace Community, this means defending land from mining companies that have come into the area to exploit the wealth of natural resources. There are several valid mining titles in the rural area of San José de Apartadó and the Peace Community has denounced the constant efforts from mining companies to penetrate the region and their attempts to persuade the local population.
Urabá has always been considered a lawless territory where the strongest hand rules, stained with endemic violence and fought for between actors in the armed conflict. Continue reading Another leader killed in Urabá
This time our destination was Mapiripan, a municipality in Meta, one of Colombia’s largest departments, in a region known as The Plain, where the main economic activities have traditionally been agriculture, cattle ranching and petroleum production. Continue reading About the land
It is still dark; the air is cold and moist because it had rained all night. Continue reading Twenty years of resistance