by Gina Spigarelli
On July 11, the indigenous Nasa of Cauca, Colombia began confronting armed groups face to face and peacefully asking them to leave Nasa territories. They removed police trenches from the urban center and disassembled homemade FARC missiles found on their lands. Four hundred Nasa members occupied and observed army soldiers on the sacred indigenous site of El Berlin outside of Toribío, where the army is protecting private cell phone company towers.
By FOR Colombia
Tuesday, July 31, 2012, 1:52am
by Gina Spigarelli
We Women Warriors features a profile of Nasa leader Flor Ilva Trochez, who led a peaceful movement to dismantle police barracks. Filmmaker Nicole Karsin writes: “The objective in making We Women Warriors was to shine a light on remarkable indigenous female leaders who are using peaceful methods to transform their lives and transcend oppression. One-third of Colombia’s 102 indigenous groups are in danger of extinction because of violence; native people are disproportionately slain by the army, paramilitary and insurgent fighters who vie to control their tribal land. When I met the film’s protagonists Doris, Ludis and Flor in 2006, they were each facing complicated choices, representative of the many life-and-death situations in Colombia that remain unbeknownst to many. It’s a great privilege that these incredible women and communities entrusted me with their stories, despite the risks involved.”
Film clip of Eduar Lancheros: “Hope is when we no longer hate the murderer.”
Eduar, human rights defender, philosopher and key figure in the inspiring initiative of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, has passed into history, into the collective memory of those men and women who contributed to creating dignity for the people.
A detailed report released today by the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) describes how U.S. funding to the Colombian military has been supporting army units whose members have killed hundreds of civilians.
Drawing on extensive data from the Colombian Attorney General’s and Inspector General’s offices, 20 human rights organizations, the U.S. State Department, and the Colombian military, the report shows that massive military training, equipment and intelligence provided under the rubric of Plan Colombia have abrogated U.S. human rights law and contributed to the killing of thousands of civilians by the Colombian Army.
Just Released, by
Logan Mehl-Laituri, InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL 2012
Logan Mehl-Laituri spoke to us on March 16, 2007 from the front of the National Cathedral where some 3000 of us had gathered to hear testimony before walking through the snow to the White House to protest the Iraq War, in its 5th year. He describes the evening toward the end of his testimonial tracing his crystallization of conscience and journey as a Conscientious Objector, released today, July 4th 2012, because of a confirming epiphany he had in the Cathedral that evening, before the fresco of Jesus’s Resurrection. Wandering the Church prior to the ceremony, at which he was asked to read the words of another recognized conscientious objector, Joshua Casteel, he had stumbled upon and fresco and recognized with full and final force the call to forgive one’s enemies and serve God. As with much of the book, the scene is painted vividly with characters in the fresco coming to life and being transformed into Iraqi soldiers and families. We can feel Logan’s body quake and see the tears streaming down his face.