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Peace organisations involved in Colombia solidarity work
- Witness for Peace
The basic method of Witness for Peace has been for US citizens to go to a zone of conflict and report back to their home community what they have seen - in particular, forms of aggression or human rights violations supported by the US government. This played a useful role in putting the brakes on direct US military intervention in Nicaragua in the 1980s. Witness for Peace is now organising several delegations a year to Colombia, visiting a range of peace and human rights groups. Many participants in the August Witness for Peace delegation to Colombia returned to the US committed to take civil disobedience at the notorious School of the Americas (which every year trains around 100 Colombian military officers). Witness for Peace, 1229 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005, USA (+1 202 588 1471, fax 588 1472; email email@example.com; http://www.witnessforpeace.org ).
- Christian Peacemaker Teams
CPT are committed to “reducing violence - by getting in the way”. Better known for their presence in the Hebron, Palestine, CPT have been at work in Colombia for the past two years. They try to combine a permanent presence of volunteers in Barrancabermeja with periodic delegations. As well as offering protective accompaniment, CPT organise their own public protest actions in Colombia, especially associated with Christian seasons such as Lent and Easter. Their email list server circulates the often-eloquent letters from volunteers to an English-speaking audience, while the CPT network has organised actions in the US and Canada drawing attention to deportation of team members and threats from paramilitaries. CPT, POB 6508, Chicago, IL 60680, USA (+1 773 277 0253; fax 277 0291; email firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.prairienet.org/cpt/).
- Fellowship of Reconciliation - USA
The FoR-USA Task Force on Latin America pays special attention to Colombia. Senior FoR-USA staff member Richard Deats took part in the five-day nonviolent march in April this year that culminated in FARC kidnapping march leader Guillermo Gaviria, the governor of Antioquia, who with US nonviolence trainers was planning to establish a Nonviolent Resource Centre. The march, from Medelli'n to the peace community of Caicedo, followed the FARC appropriating crops. FoR-USA also supports two of its members living in the peace community of San Jose' de Apartado'. Fellowship of Reconciliation, PO Box 271, Nyack, NY 10960, USA (+1 845 358 4601; fax 358 4924; email email@example.com; http://www.forusa.org )
- Pax Christi International PXI
has a longstanding relationship with the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church in Colombia, including accompanying the foundation of the peace community of San Jose' de Apartado'. National branches have their own projects of co-operation, such as Pax Christi Germany which supports a member living in a peace community, while there are periodic delegations, often with high-level participants such as bishops. Pax Christi International, Rue du Vieux Marche' aux Grains 21, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium (+ 32 2 502 5550; fax 502 4626; email firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.paxchristi.net/).Contact details for each national section are available via the website.
- War Resisters' International
WRI's Colombian affiliate, the Red Juvenil of Medelli'n, has invited WRI to organise its 2003 seminar and council meeting in Medelli'n next August. Foreign participants will also be invited to visit and share with other groups in Colombia. War Resisters' International, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX, Britain (+44 20 7278 4040; fax 7278 0444; email email@example.com; http://www/wri-irg.org ).