Anhelando la Paz – Se logró el acuerdo final de paz entre gobierno y las FARC

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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Neoparamilitares – ¿qué más de nuevo sobre ellos?

For the English version, click here.

Escrito por Thomas Power, acompañante internacional de FOR Presente por la Paz.

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Grafiti de Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia (AGC) sobre la valla con los principios de la Comunidad de Paz, abril de 2016.

Actualmente vivo en la vereda La Unión como acompañante y observador internacional en la Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartadó, ubicada en la región montañosa del Noroeste de Colombia.

Normalmente mis mañanas consisten en hacerme un café mientras leo las noticias y saludo a lxs campesinxs en su camino hacia el trabajo. Sin embargo el día 6 de septiembre, se sentía una tensa preocupación detrás de los “buenos días”, ya que la comunidad se había enterado que neoparamilitares armados habían entrado a la vereda colindante. Los neoparamilitares estaban amenazando a lxs habitantes, incluyendo miembros de la Comunidad de Paz. Decidieron entonces organizar a voluntarixs para ir a verificar la situación y mostrar presencia.


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Public Apologies and Reconciliation: FARC Take Responsibility for La Chinita Massacre

Para la versión en español haz click aqui

Written by Tom Power, FOR-PP accompanier, who was present at the September event. The article was also published by Global Voices.

A few days before the national plebiscite vote that rejected the peace accords, two of the most famous FARC guerrilla leaders Ivan Márquez and Pastor Alape arrived to the northernmost region of the country, the Gulf of Uraba, to participate in a public ceremony of recognition and forgiveness, as it was requested by the Apartadó Municipality Victims’ Association during the negotiations.

The crowd rose to its feet, stretching to look at the famous FARC guerrilla leaders Ivan Marquez and Pastor Alape, as they made their way to the stage. The ceremony on the 30th of September was attended by more than 500 people. The relatives of the 35 victims of La Chinita massacre sat in the front row, wearing matching t-shirts reading, “Sí Perdonamos” (yes, we forgive), anxiously awaiting what Ivan Marquez had to say.

“As an organization, as a collective, we recognize the many good people who weren’t able to achieve their dreams […] the deaths of La Chinita are also our deaths,” said Ivan Marquez in his intervention, “We want to reestablish a relationship. Peace is in the heart; we’re going to construct a future with hope. We’re going to fight for rights, and change, and transformation.”


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A Racial Analysis of Colombia’s Peace Plebiscite

written by Chris Courtheyn, FOR Peace Presence Board member

I offer the following analysis of the recent Colombian plebiscite as a political geographer from the United States, currently working in Colombia, who has worked in solidarity with Colombian human rights organizations since 2008. On Sunday, October 2nd, 2016, a slim majority of Colombians, 50.2%, voted to reject the peace accord between the Colombian government and FARC guerrillas. Written to end 50 years of armed conflict, it included agreements on rural development, political participation of opposition parties, illicit drugs, victims, and disarmament. Signed by both parties in September, the accord was the outcome of five years of negotiations and reflected concessions from both sides, especially by the FARC, who eventually agreed to disarm and face potential prison sentences for their crimes against humanity.

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Anhelando la Paz – Se logró el acuerdo final de paz entre gobierno y las FARC

paz parque los hippies

Transmision en vivo el 24 de agosto en Bogotá.       Foto: Rafael Castaneda

El 24 de agosto el gobierno colombiano y las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) anunciaron el acuerdo final, una solución negociada que pone fin a un conflicto armado de más de 50 años… un acuerdo histórico que generó mucha emoción en la sociedad colombiana! Muchas personas se juntaron para escuchar la transmisión en vivo de los discursos de ambas partes de las negociaciones y para celebrar el acuerdo. Se firmará oficialmente el próximo 23 de septiembre y el plebiscito para refrendar los acuerdos se realizará el 2 de octubre.


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