La Esperanza: A Story of Hope

La Esperanza y el Camino de Retorno

English Here

“El Consejo Comunitario de La Esperanza tomó la decisión de restaurar y proteger la biodiversidad del territorio, lo que nos ha convertido en una piedra en el zapato de los empresarios y funcionarios corruptos, que se han aprovechado de nuestra situación como personas desplazadas y han permitido un invasión de extraños, que han reconocido una junta paralela ilegítima, y ​​que han acordado un ecocidio, la compra y venta de un territorio colectivo y la violación de nuestros derechos. ”

– Danay, líderesa de la comunidad

 

Durante más de 40 años, la comunidad Afrocolombiana de La Esperanza ha protegido su territorio biodiverso de intereses externos. En 2003, fueron desplazados de sus tierras por las fuerzas paramilitares. En 2017, un juez de Cali les otorgó medidas provisionales, reconociendo sus derechos legales sobre esas tierras. Sin embargo, esto no ha disuadido a los actores externos de hacerse cargo y vender sus tierras a una poderosa élite. El Consejo está en diálogo con el actual alcalde de Buenaventura sobre un proceso de retorno, pero no se ha establecido nada definitivo.

Hicimos el siguiente video con entrevistas y filmaciones que los miembros de la comunidad han tomado para mostrar el daño que se está haciendo a su territorio y su voluntad de regresar.

La Esperanza and a Path to Return

Español Aquí

“The Community Council of La Esperanza made a decision to restore and protect the biodiversity of the territory, which has made us a stone in the shoe of the corrupt entrepreneurs and officials, who have taken advantage of our situation as displaced people and have permitted an invasion of strangers, recognized a parallel illegitimate board, and agreed to an ecocide, the buying and selling of a collective territory and the violation of our rights.”- Danay, community leader

For over 40 years, the Afro-Colombian community of La Esperanza have protected their biodiverse territory from outside interests. Then in 2003, they were displaced from their lands by paramilitary forces. In 2017, a Cali judge granted them provisional measures, recognizing their legal rights to those lands. However, this has not deterred external actors from taking over and selling off their lands to a powerful elite. The Community Council are in dialogue with the current mayor of Buenaventura about a process of return, but nothing definite has been set.

We made the following video with interviews and footage that community members have taken to show the damage being done to their territory, and their ardent will to return.

La Esperanza: for us, peace is….

“. . is a constitutional mandate. The environment is what we take care of for future generations of humanity.”
-Mondragon Ducuara Family

Versión en español aquí

The Families of La Esperanza

ESPERANZA IS RESISTANCE, ESPERANZA IS THE STRUGGLE, ESPERANZA IS LIFE, ESPERANZA IS COMMUNITY, ESPERANZA IS A GUARANTEE OF LIFE FOR THE PLANET.

text written by the Community Council of La Esperanza

In times of a pandemic, the cry of humanity and solidarity arises from the bowels of the earth, sore from so much death, for so much destruction. The hope of restoring biodiverse territories emerges as an alternative to the crisis of civilization imposed by the current economic model and to the global collapse of lives. In the midst of the dictatorship of the market and its seductive discourse of unlimited accumulation, life flourishes as an option and with it community initiatives of protection and solidarity, such as the one led for 40 years by the Afro-Colombian families of the Community Council of La Esperanza, that protect the biodiversity of its territory, as a guarantee of life for humanity, as a common good and as an environmental reserve. The constant action of economic and market power, which threatens the concretion of dispossession, through violence, imposing forced displacement and consummating ecocide, is proof of the economic interests of the international port of Buenaventura in the Colombian Pacific.

The non-violent struggle and the civil and community resistance of the La Esperanza Community Council must also be our fight, it must be ours because this territory is a community heritage of humanity initiative, because it has been declared as a common good, as a biodiverse territory by the peace in Colombia, but in it life is being murdered and it needs our solidarity. The life of this territory depends on everyone, there is an urgent need to stop ecocide.

WHO ARE THE WOMEN, GIRLS, CHILDREN, YOUNG PEOPLE, ADULTS, GRANDMOTHERS AND GRANDFATHERS WHO PROTECT THIS BIODIVERSE TERRITORY ?

Mondragon Ducuara family: For us, Peace is the set of conditions that guarantee human beings well-being and a dignified quality of life in an integral way at the collective and individual levels. 

 

Rodrigues Family: Peace in our territory is a quality life with our neighbors that it is not destroyed by people outside our community

 

Becerra Rosera Family: Peace is a close link between people with nature and the territory where they live, the effective enjoyment of everything around us, being in complete harmony with our body, mind and spirit to transcend and share with our loved ones and community in general.

Becerra Gonzalez Family: Peace is the ability of human beings to live calmly, with healthy social coexistence. It also has to do with proper conflict management, so as not to get into more problematic situations. Each and every one of us must understand that to achieve peace we must make our own decisions.

 

 

La Esperanza: Para nosotros la paz es….

“. . .un mandato constitucional. Lo ambiental es lo que cuidamos para las generaciones futuras de la humanidad”.
-Familia Mondragon Ducuara

English Version Here

Las Familias de Esperanza

LA ESPERANZA ES RESISTENCIA, LA ESPERANZA ES LUCHA, LA ESPERANZA ES VIDA, LA ESPERANZA ES COMUNIDAD, LA ESPERANZA ES GARANTÍA DE VIDA PARA EL PLANETA.

texto escrito por el Consejo Comunitario de La Esperanza

En tiempos de PANDEMIA, el grito de humanidad y solidaridad brota desde las entrañas de la tierra adolorida por tanta muerte, por tanta destrucción. La esperanza de restaurar territorios biodiversos, emerge como alternativa a la crisis de la civilización impuesta por el actual modelo económico y al colapso global de las vidas. En medio de la dictadura del mercado y su discurso seductor de la acumulación sin límite, la vida florece como opción y con ella iniciativas comunitarias de protección y solidaridad, como la liderada desde hace 40 años por las familias afrocolombianas del Consejo Comunitario de La Esperanza, que protegen la biodiversidad de su territorio, como garantía de vida para la humanidad, como bien común y como reserva ambiental. El constante accionar del poder económico y de mercado, que amenaza la concreción del despojo, a través de la violencia, imponiendo el desplazamiento forzado y consumando el ecocidio, es muestra del favorecimiento de intereses económicos del puerto internacional de Buenaventura en el pacífico colombiano.

La lucha no violenta y la resistencia civil y comunitaria del Consejo Comunitario La Esperanza, debe ser también nuestra lucha, debe ser nuestra porque este territorio es por iniciativa comunitaria patrimonio de la humanidad, porque ha sido declarado como bien común, como territorio biodiverso por la paz en Colombia, pero en él la vida está siendo asesinada y necesita de nuestra solidaridad. De todas y todos depende la vida de este territorio, urge parar el ecocidio.

¿QUIENES SON LAS MUJERES, NIÑAS, NIÑOS, JÓVENES, ADULTOS, ABUELAS Y ABUELOS QUE PROTEGEN ESTE TERRITORIO BIODIVERSO?.

 

Familia Mondragon Ducuara: para nosotros la Paz es el conjunto de condiciones qué garantizanan al ser humano bienestar y calidad de vida digna a nivel individual colectivo de manera integral.

 

Familia Rodrigues: La paz en nuestro territorio están cualidad con nuestros vecinos y que no sea destruido por personas ajenas a nuestra comunidad

 

Familia Becerra Rosera: La paz es un estrecho vinculo entre las personas con la naturaleza y el territorio donde vive, el goce efectivo de todo cuánto nos rodea estar en completa armonía con nuestro cuerpo, mente y espíritu para trascender y compartir con nuestros seres queridos y comunidad en general.

Familia Becerra Gonzalez: La paz es la capacidad de los seres humanos de vivir en calma, con una sana conviviencia social. También tiene que ver con un adecuado manejo de los conflictos, para no llegar a situaciones más problemáticas. Todos y cada uno de nosotros debemos de entender que para lograr la paz debemos de tomar decisiones propias.

 

La Esperanza: A Story of Hope

Dear Friends,

(Español aquí) 

This month, we are excited to share with you the story of La Esperanza, to give you a chance to meet this inspiring community that is defending human and biodiversity in their struggle to regain their ancestral lands. After being displaced for over 15 years, they refuse to give up hope. We are proud to accompany La Esperanza and advocate for their rights to return.

Over the course of the month, we will be sharing with you the photos and videos from their territory, collages made by the families of the communities, and some updates about their legal process to return to the lands from which they were displaced by paramilitaries in 2004. We will end with a webinar featuring La Esperanza community members (date to be announced).

To start, check out this short video of our field team member Enrique, as he explains La Esperanza’s story and legal battle.

 

 

We also invite Spanish speakers to tune in tomorrow to our partner CONPAZ’s Facebook page tomorrow, to hear one of the leaders from La Esperanza briefly outline their history in the event Structural Racism and Ethnic Territories, as part of the Week of Life. If you don’t speak Spanish, we will be sharing a video of their speech with subtitles later in the month!

If you’d like to support our work to accompany communities like La Esperanza, consider making a donation or becoming a monthly sponsor.

 

Thank you for standing with communities defending land and life in Colombia!

 

In Solidarity,

 

FORPP Team