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

“There will never be true peace, until we eliminate hatred within our hearts as a country.”- Peace Community Leader

The following piece and pictures were originally published in Spanish by our Accompanier Dianna E Almanza. 

Peace Community San José de Apartadó: Community House

When I see the sunrise,

I see how mother nature awakens around me,

As if time stood still,

As if this very precise moment that I am living, were to last for a long time,

In which I am caught in a moment of profound tranquility, completely consumed by the grand beauty that surrounds me.

The earth itself that I walk on emits a profound energy, which I can’t even begin to describe,

The energy evokes many emotions within me,

I feel an immense force, an innate connection between the earth, and the guardians of the earth.

I observe the way in which the community takes care of its earth, treating it with such delicacy,

This is the same delicacy I see shown in the looks, caresses and embraces between parents and their children.

Here, I began to understand, with my own flesh and blood, the true meaning of living a life in peace, without hatred.

 

The Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, (Antioquia), Colombia, is a collective of small scale farmers, founded in 1997 in order to resist in the midst of the armed conflict. The small scale farmers declared themselves neutral (they do not interact with any armed group), they practice nonviolence, they don´t allow any arms in their territory and they have to participate in collective working groups. In order to receive more information, in their own words (in Spanish), visit their homepage www.cdpsanjose.org or follow this link for an introduction to the Peace Community of San José the Apartadó on our homepage in English.

The following pictures represent a selection of the very beginning of a photographic memory[1], which, in my opinion is the most convincing representation of the incredible force, unity, beauty and above all, resilience of the community, from my perspective as International Observer and Accompanier.

 

[1] The whole collection can be found in the original publication.

Interview with Enrique Chimonja Coy, “Defender of the Year”

“A human rights defender is someone who consciously acts on their profound sensitivity for life, and who does it in act of love and commitment for the lives of others.”

Para la versión en Español haz click acá.

Since 2014, FORPP has accompanied Human Rights activist Enrique Chimonja Coy, member of the Intereclesial Commission of Justice and Peace. We accompany him to the city of Buenaventura and in the rivers of San Juan, Calima, and Naya, home to indigenous and afro-descendent communities who are survivors of the armed conflict.


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IFOR in the United Nations Human Rights Council

Para la versión en español, haz clic aquí.

On March 22, during the general debate following the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights’ report on the situation of Human Rights in Colombia, Martina Lanza from IFOR delivered a statement that spoke to the experiences of its members in Colombia.

Click on the picture to watch the video – Chapter 5


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IFOR en el Consejo de Derechos Humanos de Naciones Unidas

For the English version, click here.

A continuación, le presentamos el vídeo y el texto que leyó Martina Lanza de IFOR el 22 de marzo pasado en el Consejo de Derechos Humanos de Naciones Unidas, durante el debate general siguiendo el lanzamiento del Informe Anual del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos en Colombia.

Para ver el vídeo, haz click sobre la imagen – Capítulo 5


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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“.

manyoma.jpeg_1718483346

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


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