Voices for Justice and Peace in Colombia
/ Tuesday 8 November 2011
Corporación Acción Humanitaria por la Convivencia y la Paz del Nordeste Antioqueño.
The Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) held its 25th anniversary from October 13th to the 16th in Chicago, Illinois. CPT is an international organization that does accompaniment work in armed conflict zones. Currently, they have a presence in Palestine, Iraq, Canada and Colombia.
This year CAHUCOPANA, a small famer’s organization, was invited to present their experiences at the conference. The conference was titled "Reimagining Partnerships for Peacemaking" and sought to share international experiences and the important role of those accompanying organizations that are leading social movement in the midst of armed conflict.
For our organization, CAHUCOPANA, it was a pleasure to be able to hear the other speakers at the conference such as Fathiyeh Gainey from Palestine and Salah Mohamed from Iraq and listen to how CPT is working with them as they struggle for resolutions to the armed conflicts and are building peace processes in their communities.
Since 2009,CPT has been accompanying our organization. Together, we have carried out various activities to make visible the war in Colombia, denouncing the continued violations of human rights and the displacement and eviction of small farmers. . We can say that throughout CPT’s accompaniment, we have shared a path struggling to claim lands in Northeastern Antioquia for small-scale farmers.
As a peasant organization, we know that the main causes of Colombia’s armed conflict are the dispute for the right to the land and the unjust distribution of the land. Therefore, we reaffirm our struggle and continue resisting in our territories -demanding respect and reconfiguration of farmland. However, we are confident that now with the implementation of the Free Trade Agreement between Colombia and the United States our problems will increase. The evictions from our land will continue to grow. The humanitarian crisis will worsen and the unemployment rate will be higher. Now our struggle will need to be stronger. It is necessary that we build alliances with international organizations that want to defend small farmers, especially in Colombia. This was one of the calls to all of the conference participants that CAHUCOPANA made.
Our presence in this space leaves behind a closer relationship and commitment. It is fundamental that we focus our efforts on finding a political solution to the Colombian conflict by pressuring and demanding both the national government and the armed actors to find a path that leads to the end of the war. This path consists of a civilized exchange of opinions in search for the solutions to the political, economic, and social causes that generate the conflict.
CPT and CAHUCOPANA will continue on the path of accompaniment, formation, and resistance with the farming communities in Northeast Antioquia, while in our hearts we remain hopeful for true peace.