FOR Peace Presence Monthly Update – January 2015

First conscientious objector to military conscription to openly obtain a professional degree without the military identification card in Colombia

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We share with you a Press Release from our partners at ACOOC (Collective Action for Conscientious Objectors), and organization FOR Peace Presence accompanies.

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PRESS RELEASE

First conscientious objector to military conscription to obtain a professional degree without the military identification card in Colombia


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Primer objetor de conciencia al servicio militar obligatorio obtiene el título profesional sin la libreta militar en Colombia

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Les compartimos un comunicado de prensa de ACOOC (Acción Colectiva de Objetores y Objetoras de Conciencia), una organización acompañada por FOR Presente por la Paz:

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COMUNICADO DE PRENSA

Primer objetor de conciencia al servicio militar obligatorio obtiene el título profesional sin la libreta militar en Colombia
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A Decade Later

By FOR Peace Presence Accompanier Julia Schutt

12441643075_11fe375a62_oSince its formation in 1997, the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó has lived through a steady stream of trials, tribulations, and tragedies. Today marks the ten-year anniversary of one of the Community’s darkest chapters. On February 21 and 22, 2005, in collaboration with paramilitaries, the Colombian military brutally massacred eight people in the Peace Community’s hamlets of Mulatos and La Resbalosa. Among the dead were Community co-founder and leader Luis Eduardo Guerra and three young children.
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Returning to Mulatos – A Reflection

We share an excerpt from a blog post written in 2010 by Chris Courtheyn, former FOR Accompanier in the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó and current member of our Board of Directors. 

Children play soccer as the adults meetTwo years ago, the first major event I accompanied as an FOR volunteer in Colombia was the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó’s “return” to the veredas of Mulatos and La Resbaloza. (A vereda is a small rural district of dispersed rural settlements.) The farmers living there had originally been displaced in 1996, along with thousands of others throughout the country’s northwestern Urabá region, when paramilitaries swept the area in an attempted takeover of territory.
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FOR Peace Presence Monthly Update – January 2015

Will 2015 be a year for peace and equality in Colombia? As we walk with Colombian human rights defenders, we all hold hope for a comprehensive peace agreement and the changes it could bring. We also prepare for the changes that may not be decided just yet, and for the threats to human rights defenders that may actually increase, given the shifting political climate and land and resource interests for armed groups and international actors currently involved.

Mule delivery…more leaves for the roof.In the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, January began with an inaugural dance in the new kiosk of La Unión, where our permanent accompaniment team of two, Julia Schutt and Nikki Drake, offers round-the-clock accompaniment. They also traveled to the nearby hamlet of Arenas Altas to heighten visibility. Despite the increase in militarization the team has observed in these mountains of Urabá, our team has also noted far fewer hostilities taking place between the FARC guerilla group and Colombian military, leading us to believe that the unilateral ceasefire declared by the FARC in December has held in the area. The Community is also busy preparing for the upcoming 10-year anniversary of the 2005 Massacre in the Peace Community hamlets of Mulatos and Resbaloza.
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