Latest on Colombia

Letter from German Zarate on Colombia

I am happy and very hopeful because of what is happening in La Habana. Although the signing of the end of the armed conflict between the government of Colombia and the FARC-EP doesn’t guarantee peace, the possibility that one of the armed groups disarms is a great reason for joy and hope. The task that remains for us is to incorporate this experience of peace with the other guerrilla group, ELN.

Discovering a New Way for Peace: Discerning Fossil Fuel Divestment

Discerning a faithful path for our financial relationship to the fossil fuel industry has been a major part of my experience as a leader in the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.  As a new leader, I relied heavily on the wisdom of my elders who built the PPF endowment to maintain the work of peacemaking for future generations.  Like all forms of divestment, there were questions about ethics, about the bottom line, and about our relationships to corporations and employees who would be affected. We took time to discern our answers to all these questions and found new ones too!

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.

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