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Issue 2449 | December 2002 - February 2003

Colombia

Imprisoned refuser pays tribute

“In prison, when I am forced to salute state and army, I shall, in my mind and heart, be saluting all my brave friends ...

Social forum

As we went to press the European Social Forum (ESF), held in Florence, had just got under-way, with more than 30,000 people signing up to attend.

Anti-war feeling mounts around the world

Hundreds of thousands of people have marched in peaceful demonstrations around the globe in the past few weeks, joining the growing protest against the US's impending war on Iraq.

Japanese activists take to the streets

In October, the Kansai Antiwar Joint Action Group, a Japanese peace movement network, passed a “Resolution Against Aggressive War on Iraq by the Bush Government of US and Against Participat

Castor alarm!

As we went to press another Castor shipment of nuclear waste began its journey from the Cap La Hague reprocessing plant to Wenland.

Stories and Strategies: nonviolent resistance and social change

To assess something which you're intimately involved with is difficult.

Staying power

The woman passed by, then came back and took a leaflet.

Dreaming of a different tomorrow

What do you associate with Colombia? Biodiversity? The writer Gabriel García Márquez? The painter Fernando Botero?

Two statements from March 2002 on the breakdown of peace negotiations

WHO SAID ALL IS LOST IN COLOMBIA?

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)

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No army defends peace!

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.

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

As popular support waned in the 1980s, guerrilla groups made various attempts to switch to unarmed political struggle.

Rebirth of solidarity

There is a diverse and rapidly growing movement to end US military involvement in Colombia.

Vida y Paz Colombia

Is a group whose objective is to raise awareness in British Columbia, Canada, about the Colombian humanitarian crisis and the nonviolent social movements that mobilise for the construction

Unreal thing

There are many reasons not to drink Coca-Cola, but this most symbolic of drinks has yet to face a coordinated boycott campaign.

Peace organisations involved in Colombia solidarity work

  • Witness for Peace

San Jose de Apartado

The term “Peace Community” perhaps evokes an image of utopian pacifist experiments.

A permanent process

Some politicians are currently selling the idea that total war is “The Choice” to change the history of violence in Colombia once and for all.

Blood and fire

The paramilitaries of the AUC arrived in Barrancabermerja, the capital of Magdalena Medio and the oil capital of Colombia, in 1998, and at the turn of the year 2000-2001 “our city underwen

Decentralised co-operation on peace-building

Cooperation for development has long ceased to be the prerogative of states.

Unarmed bodyguards

Peace Brigades International (PBI) is a non-governmental organisation working with communities world-wide to address conflicts in nonviolent ways.

A volunteer's letter home

Greetings from the front lines in the battle for democracy in Colombia.

Organisations accompanied by PBI Colombia

  • The San José de Apartadó Peace Community See page 23.
  • The “Nunca Más” (“Never again”) Project This group works in the

"Little carts" and "little bells": child soldiers in Colombia

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

Morning in Colombia

Today is a new day

Last night the rains came and washed away all our sins

The violence

The complacency

The anger

The apathy

Villahermosa

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

Hawks and Hueys: the substance of Plan Colombia

With the classical meaning of a “diplomat is one who listens and reads twice”, I've been diplomatic with this book and diplomacy has paid.

Declaration: Stop the violence of Coca-Cola in Colombia and in the world!

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

Rallying support

“We must do something! Let's call a rally!” Speakers are organised, leaflets produced and participants get to show solidarity with the cause. End of story?

"We will not stay quiet"

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.

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