Issue: 2449

December 2002 - February 2003



By Jerónimo Pérez

In 1996, as a result of a government counter-insurgency campaign combined with paramilitary activity, thousands of people were displaced from the Cacarica river basin. In responsethey formed CAVIDA - the Community of Self-Determination, Life and Dignity - and began to fight for their land and fortheir return. Community member Jerónimo Pérez reflects on CAVIDA's guiding principles and their refusal to take up arms in, or support, the conflict.

By Brian Martin

Rallies are one of the most commonly used forms of nonviolent action, but how much do activists know about making them as effective as possible? Brian Martin explains how to analyse the dynamics of rally action.

Colombia has become a model of the extreme use of violence to impose neoliberal globalisation.

By Eduardo Marino

After reading and reviewing Russell Crandall's recent book - Driven By Drugs - Eduardo Marino asks "Will helicopters strafing and defoliating South America win the drugs war in North America"

By Howard Clark

Dozens of Afro-Colombians fled from their home village, Villahermosa in the department of Choco;, in 1997, caught between guerrillas and paramilitaries.

By Barb Howe

Today is a new day

Last night the rains came and washed away all our sins

The violence

The complacency

The anger

The apathy

All gone with the break of dawn

By Coalition to Stop the use of Child Soldiers

Between 6,000 and 14,000 children are currently being used as soldiers by non-state armed groups, paramilitaries or militias.

The San José de Apartadó Peace Community See page 23.

By Peter Clark

Peace Brigades volunteer Peter Clark sends a message home from the frontline in the war waged on peaceful civilians.

By Peace Brigades International

With more than 20 years' experience, Peace Brigades International have built a reputation for effective nonviolent interventions in trouble-spots around the world. Perhaps best known for their protective accompaniment work with threatened human rights defenders, trade union activists and peace campaigners, the organisation now has 21 national offices in countries throughout Europe, North America and the South Pacific, with current field projects in Mexico, Indonesia and Colombia.

By Kristian Herbolzheimer

The participatory peace and democratic initiatives emerging at the local and regional level in Colombia usually lack a solid base of support in Europe. Kristian Herbolzheimer looks at the possibilities for a decentralised response, involving not just citizens' groups but local institutions.

By Mujeres de Negro, Madrid

The specific targeting of women and young people in Barrancabermerja has led, not to a passive acceptance of authority and domination, but to their organisation and empowerment. This article, written by Mujeres de Negro (Women in Black), Madrid, focuses on the work of the Organización Femenina Popular (Women's Organisation of the People).

By Martha Colorado

Making links between all forms of violence, Colombian women activists are building a national women's movement against the war. Martha Colorado reports.

By PN staff

How do communities respond to long-term violence? For 54 of them it has been to establish "peace communities" which involve literally thousands of people. However, communities that refuse to bear arms in the conflict are unpopular with every side and frequently experience direct violence as a result.