If you ask people in the Curbaradó river valley how they are doing, they will often say: ‘Aquí, luchando’ (here, struggling). During the last several months I’ve been accompanying quite a bit in Curbaradó, and am beginning to understand why they say that. Continue reading “Here, struggling”: Accompanying displaced Afro-Colombian communities
The Chocó has some of the richest land in Colombia. There is an abundance of water, minerals, and biodiversity. This has also meant significant potential for agricultural businesses. Since 1996, three thousand Afro-descendents and mixed race persons from the Curbaradó and Jiguamiandó River Basins have been displaced by paramilitary groups. About 10 years after being forcibly displaced, these people returned to their land. However, by then, the land was in the hands of others. In order to resist, they established humanitarian zones. Since then, they have had to face threats and murders that attempt to prevent the resistance process of these communities.
The small aircraft of Colombia’s Satena airline circles a uniform green sea of banana plantations, as it arrives at a landing strip in the heart of the Urabá region, long-time hotbed of the Colombian armed conflict. Continue reading Impressions of my first month in Uraba
“Start preparing for your father’s funeral, son, because we’re going to kill him.”
Last July, PBI Colombia’s Communications Coordinator travelled to Barrancabermeja to interview David Ravelo, secretary general of the Regional Corporation for the Defence of Human Rights in the Magdalena Medio (CREDHOS) and a key leader of the social justice movement in that city. A few months earlier, David’s son had begun to receive phone calls from people who threatened to kill his father, or in some cases, claimed they had just finished the job. Continue reading The Case Against David Ravelo