While the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic and many are experiencing for the first time the unsettling reality of having to consider whether a visit to see family or friends could put oneself in danger, the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, already accustomed to these risks, has been organising. Crisis management and limits on their movements are nothing new in a community that, in their 23 years of non-violent resistance to the armed groups that have controlled this area of Urabá, has seen over 300 of its members killed1. Continue reading Community organizing to face the pandemic: in the Peace Community solidarity prevails
PBI Colombia’s accompaniment is fundamental, since the organizations and communities carry out high risk activities, either due to the complexity of the regions where they work or the issues they address. Continue reading Walking with the defenders
Peace Brigades International greatly regrets the sad news of the death of our beloved friend and former colleague Mario Paciolla, originally from Naples, Italy. Mario passed away in the early morning of Wednesday 15 July in the city of San Vicente de Caguán, in the department of Caquetá. Continue reading Mario Paciolla 1987 – 2020
When the motor boat left the Turbo port to cross the Gulf of Urabá, I couldn’t stop thinking about the people who, almost 20 years ago, were starting a journey to return to their lands. Lands they had been displaced from in 1997, during the Genesis operation.1 Continue reading A Long Journey Towards New Life
International Civil Society Organizations support the call in favor of the United Nations Global Humanitarian Agreement and UN Mission in Colombia’s call for a ceasefire and we ask for the protection of the lives of all vulnerable people in the midst of the pandemic
Bogota, April 3, 2020
The International Civil Society Organizations that subscribe to this communiqué identify in the unilateral ceasefire ordered by the ELN starting on April 1, 2020, and in the reactivation of the figure of the peace managers (gestores de paz) by the government of Ivan Duque, a possibility to return to the path of dialogue with this guerrilla group; a path which must be prioritized over any other.
Also, with great concern, we note and warn about the continuation of killings against people who defend peace and human rights, including those who signed the Final Peace Agreement with the Farc-Ep.
We also warn about the aggressions and effects caused by the presence of illegal armed groups which have led to, according to a MAPP OAS report, “confinements and forced displacements of communities in Alto Baudó (Chocó), Roberto Payán (Nariño), Algeria and El Tambo (Cauca), as well as harassments at police stations in Northern Cauca which put civilians at high risk.”* During the quarantine, eight people have been killed, three of them were in the process of reintegrating.
This is a time for, as the director of the UN Mission in Colombia says, consolidating efforts to protect the lives of the most vulnerable. The Colombian State must ensure that the measures taken to address the pandemic do not become a new factor that endangers and violates the rights of the country’s most impoverished people.
¡La Vida por encima de todo!
María Cristina Umbarila Chacón
Espacio de Cooperación para la Paz