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.
Amnesty International released a report entitled “Colombia: A Land Title is Not Enough: Ensuring Sustainable Land Restitution in Colombia,” highlighting the community of Tamarindo, where FOR Peace Presence accompanies.
Access to land is one of the root causes for the 50+ years of armed internal conflict in Colombia. Between 6 and 8 million people have been internally displaced in this time. Colombian and international large-scale mining, infrastructure and agroindustrial projects have greatly benefitted from the removal of Colombian communities from strategic areas by forced displacement, while the displaced populations have been exposed to a multitude of abuses and violations of their basic rights. Those most adversely affected are communities who have traditionally lived off the land, or namely afro-descendant, indigenous and small-scale farming communities.
In 2012 the Victims and Land Restitution Law, Law 1448, came into force. It has been the latest attempt not only for land restitution and nationwide clarification of land titles, but to offer more general reparations to the victims of the armed conflict. The right to reparation for harm suffered lies at the core of international human rights law – this implies adequate, effective and prompt reparation, including land restitution. The report analyzes if these sorts of reparations have been achieved through Law 1448.
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