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New Wave of Threats Sweeps Across Colombia

The following story comes from the Latin America Working Group. Please consider taking action through the advocacy suggestions within:

Another wave of threats has once again swept across Colombia, this time warning of an imminent “social cleansing” of “undesirable” individuals from Colombian society. Colombian churches and others are reporting that the violence unleashed by these alleged paramilitary threats has already left three young people and seven fishermen dead in Chocó.

Update/Lodging for Christian Peace Witness for Iraq

Plans are in the final stages for the Christian Peace Witness for Iraq worship and action to end the War in Iraq, to be held in Washington DC on April 29th and 30th!!!

Gaza Conflict Background

PPF National Committee member Walter Owensby was on the staff of the PC(USA) Washington Office staff for 15 years and covered the Middle East, as well as other international issues. We commend his paper to you as we work together for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East.

THE LAND AND PEOPLE  -  Gaza is small, 25 miles long and 5 miles wide on average - 139 square miles.  (That is less than one-tenth the size of Rhode Island and only twice the area of the District of Columbia.)  With just 6 percent of the area of the combined Palestinian territories, Gaza is separated from the nearest point in the West Bank by some 25 miles of southern Israel.  But with almost 1.5 million people, Gaza has over 37 percent of the local Palestinian population.  More than a million Gazans are registered refugees who trace their heritage to families displaced in 1948 from their ancestral homes in what is now the State of Israel.

Christian Peace Witness for Iraq: April 29-30

No Purple Finger for You

Greetings All,

On Saturday, the Team went to Khanaqin, in Diyala Province, as election observers. Tens of thousands of Kurds have been denied the right to vote, something not reported much, if at all, in the west. As I read reports of the 'successful' election, so-called due to the lack of violence, the thought I had was that an election is a success not by the things missing, but by the things present, such as access for all. The situation for the Kurds here reminds me of the shameful history in the United States, where African Americans were denied access to the ballot box by all kinds of 'legal' maneuvering - the literacy tests being just one example. We stood in the middle of a peaceful demonstration by hundreds of Kurds, as they showed us their documentation which should have allowed them to vote, but did not, because they simply did not exist on the voter rolls. Killing your political enemy is one way to 'disappear' him. Erasing him from any access to the political process is another. Many Kurds have effectively been disappeared. The short story which follows is a copy of a press release we sent all over. Thus far, only my hometown paper has shown any interest.

-Beth Pyles

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