The Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz (CIJP) is a human rights organization composed of professionals from a range of fields with mainly Christian and humanistic backgrounds. The CIJP’s mission is based in the principles of international human rights law and a Christian and humanistic understanding of human dignity. FOR Peace Presence currently accompanies CIJP mainly in and around the city of Buenaventura, analyzing carefully our dissuasion in this scenario where most threats are generated from splittered neoparamilitary groups.
The Buenaventura team of the Interchurch Justice and Peace Commission works in a life threatening environment, providing integral accompaniment to Afro-descendent, mestizo, and indigenous communities standing up for their rights and resisting the violence of the armed conflict and other armed groups.
FORPP initiated the accompaniment in 2014, when CIJP called urgently for international accompaniment, as they launched the creation of the Humanitarian Space of Puente Nayero where the community managed to create a space free of neoparamilitary control, one of the first urban humanitarian initiatives. We call this accompaniment umbrella accompaniment, since FORPP accompanies the CIJP who accompanies local processes which we accompany indirectly via them.
Context of Buenaventura
Buenaventura is one of the main ports of Colombia with mainly Afro-descendent population, located at the Pacific Coast, moving 60% the country’s exportation. What could be the example of an economically prosperous city envisioned in a post-accord scenario, it is one of the most violent cities with high neoparamilitary presence which became known for its chop up houses, a strategy of neoparamilitary groups to quarter their victims alive to spread fear in the community.
Additionally Buenaventura struggles with endemic corruption in all spheres which contributes to an almost complete disregard of the social and economic rights of its populations (lack of education, health service, water provision, adequate housing, adecuate work, displacement). In this challenging context CIJP accompanies victims of human rights violations, threatened human rights defenders and indigenous and afro descendent communities threaten by armed groups and economic projects.CIJP supports communities’ efforts in search of truth, justice, and reparation.