FOR Peace Presence began November with an accompaniment of Julia and Sophie to El Tamarindo. The community welcomed a delegation from the US Presbyterian Church with whom they shared their struggle for land restitution. They updated the delegation on the relocation process and the current threats they are facing in Barranquilla, meanwhile the Presbyterian Church reaffirmed their support for the implementation of productive projects in the community.
At the same time, Laetitia and Adilah went to La Esperanza, one of the settlements of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, where people from different places displaced, being afraid of paramilitary threats. The Peace Community denounced these paramilitary incursions in their territories and denounced he existence of a blacklist of these paramilitary groups in which also the name of a member of the Peace Community appeared, and a pamphlet of the paramilitary group Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia, which was left in several houses in the morning of November 11.
November was also a month of intense training for Maresz, our new team member from Hungary, but also Sandra and Tom, who will join FORPP in January. Julia, Maren and Sophie shared with them their experiences as international accompaniers and brought them contexts of the different processes FORPP is following.
We also supported the communities of Nilo to face a complicated situation. At the beginning of November, the military basis of Tolemaida decided to close permanently the only entrance for vehicles to the community Mesabaja, argumenting with security reasons for training the biggest base in Colombia is undertaking. This situation forced them to make a detour of more than one hour to enter to the community and complicated the mobility, especially for the oldest ones. FORPP wrote to the National Army and the Commander of the Basis to denounce this situation.
Finally, Maresz went to his first accompaniment with Sophie in the regions of Cesar and Magdalena where they followed the work of Tierra Digna. In Boquerón, they witnessed the impact of the mining exploitation and listened to the claims of the community about the topographical survey. In Don Jaca, Tierra Digna followed their workshop on historical memory and interviewed fishermen and farmers about the history of the community. We also made a trip in boat to the sea to witness the impact of the mining harbors on the fishing traditions and on the water access of Don Jaca.
November was a very intense month. In addition to our permanent accompaniment in the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, FORPP spent 17 days on the field in the departments of Antioquia, Atlántico, Cesar, Cundinamarca and Magdalena. We held nine official meeting and published two articles about the Peace Community in Upside Down World and NACLA, one dealing with self-sufficiency and the other with the peace process.
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