Dear URI - and World!
The Peace Community of San José de Apartadó is part of our Multiregion Cooperation Circle. From the 7th till the 9th of October, 2013 the community has initiated a pilgrimage. It is the beginning of the Global Campus month, an initiative of our Multiregion.
The 200 pilgrims - members of the peace community, from other regions in Colombia and from international countries (amongst them also participants from the peace research centre Tamera in Portugal) - started in the very early morning to walk through the jungle. The path is steep up through the moist rain forest to the small hamlet of "La Hoz" , which belongs to the Peace Community. Recently paramilitary groups occupied the village and arrested the farmer Buenaventura Hoyos Hernàndez. (http://www.amnestyusa.org/sites/default/files/uaa25513.pdf) His family and many more – to this day 50 people- have left the village because of the paramilitary presence.
Now the campesinos want to return to that same village with international support, to retrieve the remaining possessions of the former inhabitants.
We ask to pray for their protection and for a peacefull success of this action.
More information about the peace community:
In the Colombian conflict region in the northern province of Urabá the peace village San José de Apartado with 1350 inhabitants fights non-violently for its survival. Since its foundation on March 23rd 1997,178 farmers, men, women and children have been murdered some of them very brutally. The inhabitants do not give up, to the contrary: they build up a future model for an autonomous and peaceful life, a seed of hope for Colombia in a region which is heavily fought for military, police, paramilitary and guerrilla groups. They need international protection. Please help!
GRACE Pilgrimage, Colombia, in 2008