Latest on Colombia

Interview with Germán Zarate: From Colombia to Palestine

When I arrived in Colombia on April 15, Germán Zarate, the much-beloved coordinator of the Colombia Accompaniment Program in Colombia, was still traveling back to his home in Barranquilla from Palestine and Israel. I first met Germán when I was serving as an accompanier in Urabá in May 2012, and, like many accomapaniers, I was immediately drawn to his kind and friendly spirit, challenged by his astute critiques of the Church and the US government, and inspired by his lifelong work for justice and human rights in Colombia and the Church.

Presente: Reflection on SOA Vigil 2015

A considerable piece of the argument from the School of the Americas is that “no school should be held accountable for the actions of its graduates,” and, I guess, if we're being completely honest, I can't hold them directly accountable for these murders in the same way I might the person who put ammunition into a gun and then shot a child in the head. But I can certainly hold them accountable for being the school that taught them how to target people who the government claimed to be dissident. How to hold total control. How to decimate the very communities they were once a part of without a shred of wariness.

Coming Up in 2016: Activist Council, GA, A Delegation, and So Much More!

Happy New Year! What a year 2015 was. It would be easy to reflect on the past year and think it was a year of new and big changes for PPF--and it was, with a transition in staff and volunteer leadership and our change in structure, among many other changes. But even amid these changes, 2015 was also a year of deepening our foundational commitments to peacemaking and nonviolence--work that we will continue in this new year and for many years to come.

Show Solidarity with the People of El Tamarindo!

.The community of El Tamarindo in Colombia has been illegally evicted from their land this week and last. You can read the updates on what's happened at the Colombia Accompaniment Program's Facebook page. Will you join us in taking a photo to show solidarity with them?
 
 
 
1. Send them a personal message of encouragement.

SOA Vigil 2015

For 25 years, the SOA Watch has been a consistent and powerful movement calling for a close of the School of the Americas and an end to the training of Latin American soldiers by the US Army. They organize around a common vision of an end to militarism and empire by focusing specifically on closing the School of the Americas through nonviolence.

Chereth Brook at SOA 2015

Listening Is the First Step

I sat on the front porch of an hermano – a “brother” – from the small, Pentecostal-feeling Presbyterian church in a small town in the region of Uraba, Colombia. My sweaty legs stuck to the plastic chair, and I briefly wondered if the water used to make the lemonade I was so gratefully sipping was purified. I shifted in my seat, trying to get some air to my legs and back while still sitting modestly in my knee-length skirt. The pastor began to read from his worn, leather King James Bible – James 2:14-17.

SOA Watch Vigil

Friday, November 20, 2015 to Sunday, November 22, 2015

This November we will return to the Columbus, Georgia to take a stand for justice and accountability. Torture survivors, union workers, religious communities, musicians, puppetistas, students, migrants, veterans and others from across the country will speak out against violence and militarization. We will commemorate the martyrs, march to Stewart Detention Center, teach and learn from each other in the Columbus Convention Center, and celebrate resistance at the gates of Fort Benning, Georgia. Fort Benning is also home to the notorious School of the Americas (SOA/ WHINSEC) and has become a focal point of resistance to empire and militarization.

Agreements Have Been Reached in Colombia Peace Talks with Guerrilla Groups

It was announced on September 23 that the peace talks which have been ongoing for well over a year in Havana, Cuba between the Colombian government and some guerrilla groups seem to have reached the point where peace accords can be signed in March of 2016. While these accords to not solve many of the ongoing problems that would constitute a full and justice-filled peace, they are one step along the way and for that we are grateful. We celebrate peace even as it unfolds incrementally, knowing that each step gets us to our larger goals.

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