• Take Action: Light a Candle in Solidarity with Alvaro Garcia

    By on May 3, 2016

    Take action by lighting a candle to stand in solidarity with Alvaro Garcia. Post your image on Facebook, Twitter, or email it to us. Use the hashtag #LibertadparaAlvaro

     

    Maricela was startled by the sound of her front door being kicked in at 6am on the 24th of April. Six police officers with guns drawn and bulletproof vests barged into each room where her children were sleeping looking for Erik Payares, her husband, a leader in the community. “We were startled and afraid when we saw persons with guns pointed at us while we were sleeping,” she said, “they commanded us out of bed and asked us to turn off our cell phones.

  • Las Pavas Community Suffers New Intimidation and Harassment Tactics

    By on April 4, 2016

    Burned house and kitchen | Photo: Marian DeCouto

    Aggressions have increased in 2016 as the palm oil company Aportes San Isidro continues to harass and threaten the community of Las Pavas adding to their tactics the offering of monetary handouts, housing alternatives, signing lease contracts, and money towards agricultural projects with the promise to let them cultivate in peace.

    The farming community’s association ASOCAB continues to denounce these aggressions to no avail.  Even though there has been judicial and administrative movement that would appear to favour the community, the reality on the ground remains the same.  For this reason ASOCAB has published a public denouncement of the most recent events in hopes that the authorities will put an end to the impunity.

  • Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

    By on November 11, 2015

    Misael Payares, a leader of Las Pavas negotiates with riot police during the eviction of 2009.

    In Colombia the problem is not so much unjust laws, as it is the failure to apply existing laws and legislation in a timely manner. The communities Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) Colombia accompany are hugely affected by these failures, as is the entire country. In effect such delays result in the continued impunity for perpetrators of crimes, thereby undermining the rule of law’s ability to prevent future crimes. Victims are not only denied justice and compensation; they are also at risk of becoming repeat victims of repeat offenders.
  • Shots Fired in El Guayabo

    By on October 30, 2015

    Eric Payeres (behind) presents Guayabo’s case to the Governor of Santander (middle).

    Earlier today, Eric Payares, a leader of the Guayabo land process along with three other community members heard shots coming from the direction of the neighboring plot currently occupied by armed men working for Rodrigo Henao.

    “They’re attacking us once again,” Payares said “this time they’re firing shots at us.” Over the last year since the eviction on October 29, 2014, this five hectare plot of land has been a location of continual attacks. Two days ago, similar to numerous previous occasions, fence wiring was cut by Henao’s men and cattle allowed to enter and graze on Payares’s crops.

  • Public Denouncement from ASOCAB facing further threats

    By on August 18, 2015

    On August 6th the Las Pavas community met with the mayor of El Peñon, the Police Inspector, the Police...

  • ACT NOW: Ask Obama to Support Policy for a Just and Peaceful end to the Colombian Conflict

    By on May 11, 2015

    Days of Prayer and Action 2015 Petition

    For the 2015 Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia, advocates are encouraged to sign this petition which will be shared with President Obama and members of Congress:
    Dear President Obama and Members of Congress:

     

    For over fifty years, Colombia has been engaged in an internal armed conflict that has left millions of victims and a country yearning for peace. Colombians have suffered through unspeakable violence, forced displacements, kidnappings, widespread massacres, threats against unionists and human rights activists, and the social exclusion of indigenous, Afro-descendant, and rural communities. As part of the National Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia, we applaud our government’s support of the peace process in Colombia and we gather with one message in mind: Tomorrow’s Peace Starts Today.

  • Denouncement from Las Pavas – Company Continue Attacks

    By on April 28, 2015
    The community of Las Pavas has seen significant rise in attacks over the last month by security personnel from palm oil company Aportes San Isidro. Since mid-march company security head, Mario Marmol and about 70 other company workers have harassed community members preventing them from preparing the land for the planting season. They continue to prevent free movement and have even begun constructing a company house right next to where the community members are cultivating new land. The police continue to call this a neighborly dispute and have refrained from taking effective action.

     La Asociación de Campesinos de Buenos Aires – ASOCAB

    Denuncia Públicamente

    En ejercicio de nuestros derechos como víctimas de desplazamiento forzado en proceso de retorno a nuestro territorio y con el ánimo de volver las cosas a como eran antes del despojo que se nos hiciera el 14 de julio de 2009, tras decisiones judiciales ilegales que fueron dejadas sin efecto por la Corte Constitucional en su sentencia T-267 de 2011, en los primeros días del mes de marzo iniciamos labores agrícolas en varios sectores de la Hacienda Las Pavas que no estaban siendo explotados de nuestras tierras, una vez estuvimos allí fuimos agredidos por trabajadores de la empresa liderados por el señor MARIO MARMOL MONTERO, como pusimos resistencia fueron aumentando el número de jornaleros hasta llegar a alrededor de 70 hombres, contratando campesinos de la región para ponerlos a chocar con nosotros.

  • Justice Favours the Powerful

    By on February 9, 2015
    The universe will test you in unexpected ways. Whenever I think I’ve learned something, it often feels like the universe’s gigantic head shakes itself at my presumption and throws me something new to help me reconsider my new-found wisdom in a new light. What appears to be a simple situation proves to be profoundly complex. A person who I’ve labeled “difficult” in my head reveals the motivations behind their actions and I begin to understand that my view of them was less complete than previously believed. I convince myself that I’ve become a good sport in board games, and then throw a temper tantrum when crushed anew in Settlers of Catan…

    Most recently that challenge came in facing the realities of a broken justice system.

  • Las Pavas Questions Collective Reparation Program

    By on November 7, 2014
    On Wednesday, September 17 the Victims Unit (Unidad de Victimas) and the Colombian Institute for Rural Development (INCODER) visited the Las Pavas community to move the Collective Reparation process forward. They also investigated violations that the Aportes San Isidro (ASI) palm oil company has committed against the community.  The first was the reinstallation of a gate that prevents Las Pavas community members from travelling on the main road to their farms, forcing them to take a difficult detour through the jungle. The second was the construction of a house and resettlement of a family on Las Pavas land.  The latter is an illegal invasion of state land.
  • Guayabo Threatened with Immediate Eviction

    By on October 28, 2014

    Rodrigo López is escorted by ESMAD during the last eviction. Photo: Laura Bianca Thomi/ PWS

    URGENT ACTION: Ask Mayor of Puerto Wilches to Revoke Illegal Eviction Order against Guayabo

    The community of El Guayabo in the municipality of Puerto Wilches has received information from a reliable source that the police coronel signed an illegal eviction order to be executed tomorrow, Wednesday October 29. The community has not been notified or made aware of the details of the eviction order and have not been guaranteed the presence of the public defender as is mandated in cases such as these. On Sunday October 26, Mr.