March was a big month for our team in the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó. The team started off with a round of meetings in Apartadó, including meetings with the local office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Ombudsman Office, the Urabá Police, and finally the 17th Brigade, which operates in San José de Apartadó. We held these meetings to express concerns about violations of the Geneva Conventions and protection measures that are guaranteed to the Peace Community and to gather information about the region to keep the team safe.
Then Adilah left the initial training in Bogotá to join the team in the field just in time to accompany with Nikki to a nearby Peace Community hamlet. On March 23rd, Adilah, Nikki, and Michaela all joined in the celebrations of the San José Peace Community’s 18th anniversary – 18 years of being a community that actively resists all armed forces in the area.
From El Espectador, translated by FOR Peace Presence. Original: http://bit.ly/1gmXaz1
President Juan Manuel Santos apologized to the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado, which opted for peaceful resistance in the midsts of armed conflict, and were in the past accused erroneously by the authorities of supporting the FARC. Santos announced his apologies, referring to the the actions of his Government on this subject, in the name of the State and in compliance with a provision of the Constitutional Court, during a commemoration for the International Day of Human Rights. Santos also recalled the pacifism of the late South African leader Nelson Mandela.
“Some years ago, from the Presidency of the nation, unjust accusations were made against a community – the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado. With respect to this, the Constitutional Court ordered the State, through its head the President, to retract”, said Santos.
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