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    Perspectives on Peace: Fabiola from Santa Rosa de Guayacán

    In early August, we were able to travel with our partner Communities Constructing Peace in the Territories (CONPAZ) to Bajo Calima and the San Juan River, in the rural region outside of Buenaventura. There we heard from various indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities that the promised era of peace has not yet arrived. Armed groups remain active in the region and the government is doing little to protect people, leaving them with no other option than to build their own peace from the ground up.

    Today we bring you one such account. Fabiola is from the indigenous community of Santa Rosa de Guayacán. They have been confined to their land – unable to travel for school or economic activities – following the murder of an Afro-Colombian woman in the area in early July. This community has suffered multiple displacements from their ancestral lands despite precautionary measures ordered in 2011 by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

    Fabiola is one of the young leaders from the Wounaan indigenous community living on the Santa Rosa de Guayacán reservation. They declared their lands as a humanitarian biodiverse space.They were displaced three times (2004, 2010, and 2017) because of violence and combat between armed groups on the river.

    Fabiola believes that in order to protect life, her community needs to be able to live on their ancestral lands without fear of displacement. Here, they will be able to remain united and strengthen the indigenous guard, two essential elements for the creation of long-lasting peace.

    Perspectives on Peace: Karen and Rubén Darío from Punte Icaco

    “Today, we are again worried… about invisible borders that prevent us from crossing from one neighborhood to another…”

    Three years ago last Sunday, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Colombian government signed a historic ceasefire agreement, marking what was thought to be one of the last steps before the final Peace Accords and a laying down of arms in favor of peace. Today, we are reflecting on the changes that the Peace Accords has brought to Colombia. From our accompaniments in terrain and from the voices of our own partners, we have seen and heard renewed hope that the Accords would begin a new era of peace. Now, just three years later, many feel frustrated as attacks against social leaders continue to rise, and communities attempting to remain on their territories and build sustainable peace are continually put at risk.

    But you don’t have to take our word it. Over the next few weeks we are bringing you Perspectives on Peace, videos of social leaders in different parts of Colombia sharing their first-hand accounts of what’s happening in their communities.

    Coinciding with Pride Month, we start with two voices from the Punte Icaco Humanitarian Space in the city of Buenaventura, on Colombia’s Pacific coast. Members of the CONPAZ (Communities Constructing Peace in the Territories) network, they share their perspectives about the ongoing violence in Buenaventura, and in particular the harassment and violence against the LGBTQIA+ community.

    (Make sure that subtitles are on when you watch the videos)

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Karen is the legal representative for the LGBTI community in Buenaventura and a CONPAZ leader in Punte Icaco. She is concerned about paramilitary recruitment and recent threats against her personally.

    Click here to hear Karen’s perspective. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Rubén Darío is part of the LGBTI community in Punte Icaco and a leader with CONPAZ. He is concerned about the ongoing violence against LGBTI people and the impunity for assailants.

    Click here to hear Rubén’s perspective.