Army Actions Increase Risk for FOR and Peace Community

Acción Urgente

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Asesinato de la defensora de derechos humanos de la red CONPAZ y lideresa del Consejo comunitario del Bajo Calima Emilsen Manyoma, junto con su esposo Joe Javier Rodallega en Buenaventura

 Estimadxs señorxs,

Reciban un cordial saludo.

Quisiéra compartirles mi profunda tristeza y preocupación por el recién asesinato de Emilsen Manyoma, defensora de derechos humanos de la red CONPAZ y lideresa del Consejo Comunitario del Bajo Calima de Buenaventura.

Aunque los hechos están aún en curso de investigación, la Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz ha reportado que su cuerpo, junto con el de su esposo Joe Javier Rodallega, fue encontrado sin vida, degollado y con múltiples heridas de arma blanca el día de ayer, martes 17 de enero, en horas de la madrugada en el Barrio El Progreso, Comuna 10 de Buenaventura. Según diferentes fuentes, ambos hubieran sido recogidos el pasado sábado por la noche en un taxi que los llevó al barrio Las Palmas y de donde se perdió el contacto con ellos.


Eviction of Tamarindo Underway

Displacement underwayThe 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.


Black lives matter everywhere

We’re grieving for our friends in Buenaventura. Recently, two young black lives were stolen from the community by paramilitaries. Christian, 15, was shot in the back while fleeing attackers who were trying to forcibly recruit him. Sol, 17, was fatally stabbed while trying to protect Christian.

Why? Simply because their families refused to be silent, refused to allow their children to be recruited by the paramilitaries, and refused to allow their daughters to be subjected to sexual violence.

In memory of Michael BrownHere in the US, people took to the streets this past weekend to honor the memory of Michael Brown. We stand in solidarity with #blacklivesmatter, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, BYP100 and the many other organizations in the U.S. and around the globe that aim to bring this issue to the forefront. We stand with the people who converged on Ferguson this weekend to protest and seek justice for Michael Brown’s murder.

Whether it’s condoning brutality at the hands of police officers in the U.S. or paramilitaries in Colombia, the message from state agents and the illegal groups they work with, is clear: black lives are expendable.

URGENT: FOR peace award winner Ricardo Esquivia at risk

20130919-urgent-for-peace-award-winner-ricardo-esquivia-riskIn 2008, the Fellowship of Reconciliation awarded the Pfeffer Peace Award to Ricardo Esquivia for his work in the peace movement of the High Mountain Zone of El Carmen de Bolívar, Colombia.

Ricardo has recently received death threats from the paramilitary group Los Urabenos and is also facing detention by the Colombian authorities on charges fabricated by that illegal group. We need your help in supporting Ricardo and his work with conflict-affected communities of the Caribbean Coast in Colombia to peacefully reconcile and build a better future.

Join FOR in sending a letter on Ricardo’s behalf to Colombian authorities, through our allies at Witness for Peace.

Ricardo, who is the director of the Asociación Sembrando Semillas de Paz (Sembrandopaz), is being threatened with political persecution — and we must stand with him as defenders of democracy and human rights.


Army Actions Increase Risk for FOR and Peace Community

 Army Actions Increase Risk for FOR and Peace CommunityWe are concerned that Colombian Army actions in San José de Apartadó put peace community residents and FOR observers in acute danger, and are in violation of the recent Colombian Constitutional Court ruling regarding the security of peace community members.

Peace Community of San José de Apartadó. The peace community of San José was established in 1997, and does not support any actor in Colombia’s armed conflict. More than 180 community members have been killed, and in 2000 the Inter-American Human Rights Court issued measures for the community’s protection, recognizing the community’s choice not to participate in the war, and specifically requiring that the Colombian state consult with the community about measures for its members’ security. FOR has had a permanent observation team in San José since 2002, while Peace Brigades International and other international groups have also accompanied the community for many years. In February 2005, members of the Army and paramilitary groups carried out a massacre of eight San José residents, including the peace community’s co-founder and three children.