A letter from John Lindsay-Poland

Life and Death in Buenaventura: A Continuing Story of Forced Displacement

Para la versión en español, haz clic aquí.

Written by Pendle Marshall-Hallmark, FOR Peace Presence accompanier, 2/17/2017

The day I arrived in Colombia to begin my new position as an international human rights accompanier, the decaying, mangled bodies of Afro-Colombian community activist Emilsen Manyoma Mosquera and her partner Joe Javier Rodallega were found on the outskirts of their Buenaventura neighborhood. A few days prior, the couple had been kidnapped by a group of people allegedly pertaining to one of the strongest neo-paramilitary drug-trafficking groups in the country, called “Los Urabeños“.

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Emilsen Manyoma Mosquera, prominent human rights activist in Buenaventura, was kidnapped and then killed.


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Vida y muerte en Buenaventura: una persistente historia de desplazamiento forzado

For the English version, click here.

Escrito por Pendle Marshall-Hallmark, acompañante internacional de FOR Presente por la Paz, el 17 de febrero del 2017.

El día que llegué a Colombia para empezar mi nuevo trabajo como acompañante internacional, los cuerpos degollados y descompuestos de la lideresa afrocolombiana Emilsen Manyoma Mosquera y de su compañero Joe Javier Rodallega fueron encontrados en las afueras de Buenaventura. Unos días antes, la pareja había sido secuestrada por un grupo de personas supuestamente vinculado a uno de los grupos neoparamilitares narcotraficantes más importantes del país, llamado “Los Urabeños”.

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Emilsen Manyoma Mosquera, lideresa reconocida de Buenaventura, fue captura y asesinada


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A letter from John Lindsay-Poland

If you live in the United States, you know that our country is in an emergency, as we respond to the racist fear-mongering of a new presidency. You may be less aware of the continuing emergencies in other nations such as Colombia. But human rights workers there urgently need your support now, too.

On January 29, 2002, the same week that two young volunteers travelled to remote San José de Apartadó to permanently accompany a Peace Community under attack, the then-U.S. president committed himself to eliminating an “axis of evil.” The United States had just begun its war in Afghanistan and passed the Patriot Act under the guise of fighting terrorism. But it was also supporting a war in Colombia. When I and others visited San José the year before, the community’s leaders asked us to accompany them in the aftermath of a massacre that had killed six community leaders in the hamlet of La Unión. We didn’t know – couldn’t know – what it would entail, but we had to say yes.

Since then, the FOR Peace Presence has expanded its accompaniment in Colombia to conscientious objectors, Afro-Colombians resisting neo-paramilitary violence, farmers neighboring the military’s largest training base, and community councils and indigenous reserves in more than a dozen Colombian departments. It has also continued its 24/7 presence in the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó.


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