Neoparamilitaries- what’s so new about them?

This Land is Their Land: A Case for Indigenous Land Rights

Para la versión en español, haz clic aquí.

Written by Kati Hinman, Human Rights Accompanier at FOR Peace Presence, from San José de Apartadó. Originally published in Charged Affairs. 

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Mountains of Urabá

¨We are sitting on gold,¨ he said, looking out past the few small houses towards the mountains of Urabá, a region of northern Colombia that has been a hotbed of the armed conflict. Having grown up in the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartadó, he was well aware of the price for their land. For 20 years, the Peace Community has remained neutral in the conflict, and non-violently resisted armed actors fighting to dominate their territory. Since the Peace Community’s founding, over 180 of its members have been assassinated,  amongst hundreds of additional human rights violations. After the signing of the peace accords last year, they continue to resist various threats to their rights. The region has a huge reserve of coal, and they fear that multinational corporations will eventually push them out to build mines.


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Esta tierra es nuestra: un caso para los derechos territoriales indígenas

For the English version, click here.

Escrito por Kati Hinman, acompanante internacional de FOR Presente por la Paz, desde San José de Apartadó. Publicado originalmente en Charged Affairs.

Montañas del Urabá

“Estamos sentadxs sobre una mina de oro” dijo, mirando atrás de las pocas casitas las montañas del Urabá, una región situada en el noreste de Colombia que ha sido un semillero del conflicto armado. Al haber crecido en la Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartadó, estaba bien enterado del precio de la tierra. Durante 20 años ahora, la Comunidad ha permanecido neutral ante el conflicto, resistiendo de manera no violenta a los actores armados luchando para dominar su territorio. Desde su creación, alrededor de 180 miembros han sido asesinados, entre centenas de otras violaciones a los derechos humanos. Después de la firma del acuerdo de paz con las FARC, siguen resistiendo a varias amenazas contra sus derechos. La región tiene una reserva enorme de carbón y temen de que empresas multinacionales podrían desalojarles para explotar minas.


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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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Neoparamilitaries- what’s so new about them?

Para la versión en español, haz click aqui.
Written by Thomas Power, international accompanier of FOR Peace Presence.

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AGC grafiti on the poster with the Peace Community’s principles.

I currently live in a village called “La Unión” as an international accompanier and observer in the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, located in the mountains of northwest Colombia. Normally, mornings consist of me making coffee while reading the paper and greeting campesinos (small scale farmers) on their way to work. On the morning of September 6th however, there was a tense apprehension behind the “buenos días”, as the community had received news that armed neo-paramilitaries had entered the neighboring village. The neo-paramilitaries were threatening the people living there, including Peace Community members, so the community was organizing volunteers to go verify the situation and make their presence felt.


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