Features in issue 2449

Rallying support

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.

No army defends peace!

by Adriana Castano

In the city of Medellín youth activists are taking a stand for peace within their highly militarised communities. Adriana Castaño from the Red Juvenil - Youth Network - reports.

Hawks and Hueys: the substance of Plan Colombia

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"

An obstacle to "progress"


"The spiritual leaders of the Curripacos and Puinaves in the Colombian Amazon, or of the Sions and Kofanes of the Orinoco, carry out rituals of protection when their people are about to quietly leave their riverside or jungle homes. They invoke magic to render bullets harmless against their people and have paths close behind them, keeping them out of reach of their enemies. With sacred plants, they induce visions or dreams that reveal new threats to them. These protections and spells have worked for centuries. They formed part of the culture of resistance to colonisation, plunder, submission to conquistadors, missionaries, plantation-owners, loggers, emerald-collectors, the hunters for hides, miners, oil companies, multinationals and diverse looters. But the magnitude and intensity of the violence in Colombia in the last two decades seems to have demolished thesevenerable methods of defence." - Blanche Petrich (Ojarasaca 45, January 2001)

"We will not stay quiet"

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.

It is easier to begin an armed struggle than to end one

by Howard Clark

Earlier this year Howard Clark interviewed former ELN guerrilla Pastor Jaramillo for Peace News. He talks about the challenges and frequently dire consequences of "reinsertion" into civilian life and suggest a prognosis for the future of peace talks.