The displacement of Asotracampo Tamarindo is currently underway. Riot police, bulldozers, and a group of civilans armed with machetes have started demolishing the homes of local families; the vast majority displaced from other regions by Colombia’s armed conflict. These families have nowhere to go and their human rights and dignity as individuals and as a community of subsistance farmers are being violated.
This photo is of our team observing as city officials and the riot police arrived this morning.
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.
The news of peace negotiations have received an overwhelmingly positive response, both among Colombian political forces and in the international community. A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, at a press conference on August 28, said it welcomes “any efforts to end the hemisphere’s longest-running conflict and to bring about lasting peace in Colombia”. A similar statement was issuedby U.N. General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, through spokesperson Martin Nesirky.
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