Tag Archives: PBI Colombia

Accompany from diversity to re-existence

We offer a warm welcome to our three new field brigadistas who will accompany human rights defenders and organizations from the Apartado and Barrancabermeja Teams


The people saying hi in this photo are: Yoxmara (Mexico) who accompanies from the field team in Apartadó, whereas Angie (El Salvador) and Cristina (Spain) will accompany from Barrancabermeja.

“Recognizing our histories and the histories from our territories, we wish to walk together with the processes that try to elaborate new narratives in which the pain and the violence seek to become a route for justice and dignity of peoples.

As PBI’s field brigades, we want to learn and accompany people and organizations that seek to cultivate a collective and common peace to re-exist from the diversity”.

Welcome to PBI Colombia!

Protecting this Beautiful World We are Creating

At PBI we have been talking about this idea of a protection circle and to protect ourselves we must also take into account the many dimensions and impacts of violence: a spiritual or feeling-based dimension, the psycho-emotional or corporal dimension, the group-relational dimension and, now, we want to talk about the territorial or project dimension. Here we want to discuss the importance of protecting what we fight for or defend: peace for our territory, access to justice, building a truth that is connected to the experiences of those whose rights have been violated, a life free of violence. We seek to build new worlds, or rather, we hope to expand the beautiful worlds that already exist, and we want everyone to have access to them. This brings us to our efforts to organize collectively and defend what we consider as fundamental for life.

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We Are Protected by What We Create

During the 2023 Women Defenders Gathering, we came together, our hands filled with objects from our territories and we built a protection circle. A mandala that enveloped the space, welcoming us during the gathering and witnessing manifold beautiful moments of creation, tenderness, and dialogue among women. The protection circle was represented in six moments, each one named based on the participants’ feelings and built out of spontaneity and from the desire to bring our demands and desires to that space. We identified six pillars of protection for women defenders, pillars that are tied to protecting what we are, protecting our dreams.

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The Tale of the 2023 Women Defenders Gathering

Once upon a time, there was a bird on a beach…

Once upon a time, ten lionesses…

Once upon a time, twenty women defenders…

Between 15 and 18 February, 25 women came together in La Mesa, Cundinamarca. Women from different Colombian territories and PBI accompaniers from several countries: San José de Apartadó, Cali, Vistahermosa, and Puerto Rico in Meta, Bogotá, Catatumbo, Remedios, Sur de Bolívar, Barrancabermeja, Puerto Asís, Portugal, Spain, and the United States. The youngest woman among us was 24 years old and the oldest was 72. We came from organizations such as ACVC, ADISPA, ASCAMCAT, CAHUCOPANA, CAJAR, the Peace Community, CSPP, CREDHOS, DH Colombia, Karisma, LIMPAL, MOVICE, NOMADESC, and PBI. Each with our stories, our dreams, and our pain.

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“Total Peace” in the Face of Territorial Reality

Since his inauguration, the new president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, has stated that the “Total Peace” policy is one of his priorities. The policy seeks to open dialogues and demobilize all illegal armed structures. Since then, four of these groups have declared a ceasefire[1] and, in November 2022, negotiations was reinstated with the ELN guerrilla (National Liberation Army),[2] which had been suspended during the Iván Duque administration. A bill to bring the other armed structures before the justice system is also planned. The government defines these groups as “high impact criminal groups,” that lack a political character and these would include structures that arose out of paramilitarism, such as the Gaitan Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AGC, in Spanish).[3]

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