30 Colombian Communities March for Justice

This Saturday, April 6, approximately 1,000 campesinos from the Montes de Maria region of Colombia will be taking nonviolent direct action to demand holistic reparations as victims of the decades-long  disastrous armed conflict. They will be walking 80 miles from El Carmen de Bolivar to the city of Cartagena.

Picture1
A panorama of the Montes de Maria region of Colombia.

According to Anna Vogt, a Mennonite Central Committee worker in Colombia, this region has been the locus of battles between the guerrilla group FARC, right-wing paramilitary groups, and state forces. Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, this violence was accompanied by numerous human rights violations, including massacres, arson, kidnapping, and mass displacement.

Though The Victim’s Law of 2011 is supposed to facilitate land restitution, delays in implementation and a policy of targeted reparations have prevented real change in these communities. The Victims Unit – the Colombian government entity responsible for implementing the Victims Law – asked if the campesinos would agree not to march if the Unit set up a working group to dialogue on the issues, but the leaders have refused this offer. The campesinos are seeking to create national awareness and true change.

Vogt says “The preparation for the march has turned into an important first step in rebuilding the area, as regional ties are strengthened and grassroots organizing takes place through its planning.”

Stand in solidarity with our Colombian brothers and sisters as they seek justice by participating in Days of Prayer and Action for Colombia. Go to our website to learn more and sign up: http://washington.mcc.org/days.

You can also ask your representative in Congress to stand for peace with justice.

To learn more about the march, see these articles:

 

2 Comments

  1. thellamadiaries
    Permalink

    This is an important movement, happening at an important time in Colombia’s history, as the country continues peace talks. Although not directly addressing the peace dialogues, the march highlights the need to listen to civil society and address the needs of victims for any lasting peace. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Mark Costanzo
    Permalink

    God bless them for their nonviolent stand, & refusing to be placated by a government that’s ineffectual. I’ll pray for them & keep Columbia in prayer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s