• “As women we declare ourselves political subjects”

    By on November 25, 2016

    Marylen Serna, national spokesperson for the Congreso de los Pueblos and Sonia Nevado, regional spokesperson for Marcha Patriotica read the event’s Declaration of the Women’s Gathering: Memory and Territorial Agenda for Peace. Photo: Caldwell Manners

    Over 300 women from the northeast and middle Magdalena regions gathered over two days, on November 10 and 11 to develop a proposal on their role and demands in a post-agreement Colombia. Women have been the primary victims of these last five decades of war but have also been protagonists in successfully lobbying for a negotiated end to the 52 year conflict between the FARC-EP and the Colombian state. 
  • Women on the Frontlines of the Colombian Peace Movement

    By on October 17, 2016
    Last September, two graying fighters in the hemisphere’s longest-running armed conflict consented to an awkward handshake. Ernesto Londoño wrote in the New York Times that he watched Juan Manuel Santos and Timoleón Jiménez, alias “Timochenko,” head negotiator for the FARC, shake hands “in stunned silence,” astonished at the diplomatic successes of Colombia’s four years of peace talks. On the evening of October 2nd, international observers reacted once again in stunned silence—this time, however, because the prospects for peace were thwarted by an entirely unexpected outcome. The “Yes” vote lost by less than 1% in a surprise to most observers, who predicted that the referendum would pass.
  • Colombia Rejects Peace Deal. Why and What Next?

    By on October 7, 2016

    A woman looks for her identification number on a chart at a local voting station. (Photo: Caldwell Manners)

    Five days have passed since the October 2nd referendum when 6,431,376 Colombians voted to reject the peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP). The slim win of the “No” vote, by a margin of 54,000 votes, leaves the country in a highly polarized state.

    On September 26 with the whole world watching, President Juan Manuel Santos quoted the national anthem, “The horrible night has ceased,” after signing the 297 page peace agreement with the FARC.

  • Celebrating the voice of women!

    By on August 18, 2016

    Celebrating the voice of women!

    ” … Since the government of Belisario Betancur in 1982 up to the current peace process with President Santos, 61 documents have been signed that establish pacts between the government and armed groups – some of which were part of peace processes – where women on both sides have only managed an average participation of about 3.6% as part of the direct negotiation teams.”

    It is a sad context and reality in which we are living in the world today in 2016. Many times we believe that we are more advanced as a society and we often look back at ancient societies as backward for having acted a certain way or having certain beliefs.

  • The Northeast Trail: A travel blog

    By on February 18, 2016

    In October 2015 two CPTers traveled with our partners CAHUCOPANA across the Northeast region of Antioquia on a nine day tour, immersing ourselves CAHUCOPANA’s rigorous daily schedule of workshops, meetings, and lots of travel. The ‘Northeast’, as they refer to it, is a region rich in resources and biodiversity where rolling hills of untouched jungle give way to small communities etched into the landscape, often only accessible by mule or on foot.  Unfortunately the region also has a history of displacement and human rights abuses as a result of a lack of state involvement. One of CAHUCOPANA’s initiatives in response to this abandonment is the fomentation of women’s activism in the region, by the name of Women’s Humanitarian Action Committees.  

  • In-Spite of Everything, A Smile

    By on October 3, 2014
    It had rained all morning and was very cool.  As we arrived at the meeting with the people of Bella Union, a neighbouring village to El Guayabo, I saw a woman sitting under a green tree with a big smile on her face. I immediately thought it would be interesting to know more about her.

    We started our work. The task was very specific – to document cases of human rights violations from 1990 to 2014. Soon it was time for the woman with the beautiful smile to share.  I thought it would be the only opportunity to learn more about her than just her name.

  • I too am a woman

    By on June 19, 2014

    There’s a gender movement going on. More and more often, in our Colombian context, the terms gender equality,...

  • Because She is a Woman!

    By on October 17, 2012
    Gloria, a leader and organizer from the Popular Women’s Organization (OFP) and I responded to an emergency accompaniment. Minutes before calling CPT, Gloria had received a call from a friend at social services asking for support for a young woman who was attempting to flee from a situation of sexual slavery.

    At the Prosecutor General’s office Yasmin,* whom we had been requested to accompany, shared with us her story: “I am from Medellin, but live in Bogota. I have a kid, no family to support me. I have a mother but…I got an offer to work in Barranca in a family home and then when I came I realized it was a brothel.” She continued to explain that on fleeing from the brothel she went to one of the small shops close to the bus station where the owner, a woman, helped her to get to the police station, who then directed her to the Prosecutor General’s Office.