• The Magdalena

    By on November 13, 2014
    Mary Magdalene is one of the most controversial and mysterious Biblical characters. She often gets a ‘bad rap’. Pegged as a prostitute and temptress by Pope Gregory I, her reputation remained tarnished for around 7 centuries before Biblical scholars redeemed her by untangling the three women whose stories Gregory had merged. It was not until 1280 that she was recognized as a leader, and canonized by several different church denominations. Though we know very little about her life, we do know that she was a person of importance to Jesus. He used his gifts to cast seven demons out of her, and chose her to be one of the first people to see him after the resurrection.
  • 10 Questions for the next President

    By on May 23, 2014
    The Colombian people are getting ready to go to the polls on May 25 to elect a new leader for the country. The incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos is seeking re-election in a race against five candidates, all aspiring to the most powerful office in the land and discussing issues such as education, corruption, environment, and  as always, the peace accords.

    We as CPT Colombia, hope the next president fulfills her/his promise and works for the Colombian people. According to our work, the requests of our partners, and communities we accompany we have created a list of questions that we would like to ask the next president, to highlight some of our concerns and key issues for Colombia today.

  • National Strike Strikes Again

    By on May 15, 2014

    “Excuse us for the inconveniences, we are struggling to guarantee our food sovereignty. Strike for progress. CISCA [Catatumbo Committee for Social Integration]

    From April 28th to May 9th, 2014, 3,000 farmers and miners from the Southern Bolivar, Catatumbo, and Cesar regions mobilized near the small town of Norean (three hours north of Barrancabermeja) along with thousands across the country as part of the National Strike, to pressure the national government to negotiate with their leaders in Bogota.   This is the second such mobilization in less than a year, after the government failed to fulfill the agreements that ended the first one.

  • 5000 Small Farmers Arrive in Aguachica

    By on May 6, 2014
    Yesterday a thousand riot police and military personnel arrived in the small town of Norian, just north of Aguachica, and completely surrounded five thousand small farmers who had begun to gather there since May first. The display of force and the restriction of movement has been a part of the government’s strategy to clamp down on the growing Agrarian strike.

    Earlier today, 300 small farmers from the northeastern Antioquia traveling to Medellin to participate in public gatherings were detained on the pretext that they would be a threat to the residents of Medellin, since the public forces did not have enough personnel.

  • National Agrarian Strike 2014

    By on April 28, 2014

  • Militarisation serving extraction

    By on April 23, 2014
    The Colombian armed forces, with 281,400 military personnel, are the second largest army in all of Latin America, surpassed only by Brazil. Added to that are the 159,000 members of the National Police, a militarised police force that reports to the Ministry of Defence. In Colombia there are 6.2 soldiers per one thousand inhabitants, a ratio almost four times that of Brazil.

    The surge in extractive mining and energy activities in Colombia over the last few years has come accompanied by the massive militarisation of the zones where the mining and energy sectors operate. The Colombian government has in recent years created what are known as Energy, Mining and Transport Battalions.

  • The People’s Land Summit, March’s March, and an Ultimatum

    By on April 11, 2014
    CAHUCOPANA, a grass-roots campesino organization that formed to defend the land and human rights of the campesinos in north-east Antioquia, has learnt that sometimes you have to leave your home to defend it. CAHUCOPANA asked the CPT Colombian team to accompany a caravan of dozens of buses from the department of Antioquia to join about 30 thousand demonstrators in a march in Colombia’s capital, Bogotá, on the 17th of March of this year.

    The march was planned to end and compliment the People’s Land Summit, also held in Bogotá. The Summit itself, in which CAHUCOPANA also participated, was in response to the national government’s failure to live up to the commitments it had made as part of negotiations to end a nation-wide general strike in August of 2013.

  • “Documentary 9.70”

    By on October 25, 2013

    “9.70 documentary” tells the story of a group of farmers from which the Colombian Government seized and destroyed 70 tons of rice.

    In a very short amount of time, the Colombian government approved a series of laws and resolutions in order to sign a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States as quickly as possible. One of the conditions set by the US was to create a legislation for the ‘privatization’ of seeds.

    The documentary examines the impact caused by these decisions, exemplifying them by using the case of Campoalegre, a southern Colombian town where the resolution was set in motion.