Threatened Communities, Organizations and Their Leadership

Much of the work of CPT Colombia is to accompany threatened communities, organizations and their leadership. But what exactly do we mean by accompaniment?

Communities we accompany:

Organizations we accompany:

  • Federation of AGROMISBOL
  • Corporation for Coexistence and Peace in Northeast Antioquia (CAHUCOPANA)
  • Human Rights Workers’ Forum of Barrancabermeja (ESPACIO)
  • Woman’s Social movement against War and for Peace

Related Organizations:

  • Campesino Association of the Cimitarra Valley ACVC
  • Woman Popular Organization (OFP)
  • Human Rights Workers’ Forum of Barrancabermeja (ESPACIO)
  • “Programa” PDPMM– Program of Development and Peace of the Magdalena Medio

By accompaniment we mean both: 1) having a physical presence in the communities and with the organizations we accompany, and 2) advocating on their behalf..

1) Our physical presence in communities/organizations demonstrates to both members and leaders of organizations as well as armed actors that they are not alone; members of an international organization are present to witnesses and report on whatever is happening, and will non-violently intervene when armed actors abuse the rights of civilians. We ask violators to cease and desist from any behaviour that places civilians at risk or abuses their rights, and make it known that we will report all abuses to local authorities, local, national and North American government representatives, the media, and our international support base. We also publish an annual Human Rights Report and occasionally call for Urgent Action on the part of our support base and government representatives. These actions and interventions on the part of the team also intended to deter violence and humans rights abuses on the part armed actors.

2) Advocacy work for the organizations and communities we accompany is based on the understanding that justice must prevail before peace can be attained. It seeks to support our partners’ initiatives in their struggles to end violence and impunity, and to have their rights to life with dignity and territory respected. It also raises the profiles, not only of community/organization leaders, but also of their struggle for justice. Raising their profiles increases the political cost of doing them harm, and thereby diminishes the ability to oppress them with impunity. It also helps brings their experiences of injustice and their demands for justice to the national and international level, thereby increasing their chances of getting a fair trial in judicial and governmental procedures. Advocacy work takes many forms, all of which address the imbalance of power that allows decision makers to disregard the needs and rights of the communities and organizations most affected by oppression and violence.

 Advocacy work includes:

  • Doing public actions and participating in demonstrations that promote justice and seek to end violence and impunity in the communities accompanied by CPT.
  • Posting information and photos on our Web Page that will raise the profile of our partner communities and organizations and their struggle for justice and peace.
  • Writing releases for subscribers to our list-serves that put a human face on the most adversely affected Colombians and their struggles.
  • Presentations in our countries of origin (mostly North America and Colombia) that increase support for our Colombian partners and promote justice.
  • Hosting national and international delegations who will become advocates for the communities CPT accompanies in the home communities and countries.
  • Working with local, national and international media to draw attention to the oppression and struggles of our Colombian partner communities and organizations.
  • Campaigns to end military aid to Colombia, end aerial spraying of food crops and people, block Free Trade Deals, and hold foreign corporations accountable for their actions here in Colombia, and close the SOA (School of the Americas), etc.
  • Increasing and mobilizing our support bases nationally and internationally to take action on behalf of our Colombian partners.
  • Lobbying government representatives to change policies that perpetuate injustice and violence to ones that will help create the conditions for peace with justice in Colombia.
  • Public education about the national and international context and root causes of military, economic, social and political violence and oppression in Colombia.
For more on Barrancabermeja and the Magdalena Medio Region and CPT Colombia

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