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.
Continue reading Giving One’s Life, but Not the Land
Manuel Ruiz was one of the most active leaders in the land restitution process in the Curbaradó and Jiguamiandó river basin areas, located in the Bajo Atrato region of the Chocó department. Continue reading 2012: Murder of land claimant leader Manuel Ruiz and his son Samir, in Curbaradó
The 26th of Novembre 2017 seemed like any other hot and humid Sunday in the collective territory of La Larga Tumaradó. Mario Castaño, a land-restitution leader in the Chocó region of Urabá, had gathered his family to spend the day together at their small holding farm. However, Continue reading Mario Castaño, in memoriam
The first time I met German Graciano, or Mello as everyone calls him, I remember his shyness, but above all the strength of his commitment to the principles of the Peace Community and his charisma during his work as the Community’s leader. Continue reading Defending the collective
“I grew up in the middle of violence and forced displacement in the Curbaradó river basin. The memories of violence that I carry with me, have led me to stand up and become a human rights defender, Continue reading Defending the rights of communities to recover the land that belongs to them