Latest on Colombia

Sign On to Letter in Support of Maintaining Human Rights Conditions on U.S. Assistance to Latin America

The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship recently co-signed a letter to the Joint Federal Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs with 46 other organizations to request that human rights conditions are included in the fiscal year 2016 budget for foreign assistance for Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Colombia. This is in response to the lessoning and in some cases, removal of these conditions to the U.S. Federal budgeting process. We were joined in signing this letter by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

A New Revolution in Guatemala

“I think there’s going to be another revolution.” Hermano Pedro spoke these words to me, nodding slowly, as we sat at the kitchen table drinking sweet coffee and eating bread. That was in early July of this year. We were talking about Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and the protests that were happening in the capital calling for his resignation. I had asked him what he thought would happen--would Guatemala just wait it out until the September elections or would Molina be forced to resign, just as his vice-president had done a few months earlier?

Update on Colombia Accompaniment: Tension and Threats

The situation in Colombia is very tense right now. The now long-running Havana-based peace-talks between government and FARC had made significant progress, including the establishment of a truth commission, but the talks are in a very fragile state after cease-fires broke down. There are new signs of de-escalation of violence; our prayers for peace are more than welcome.

Update on the Displacement of Tamarindo Farmers

Thank you to everyone who has taken action on our e-alert on the serious situation in Tamarindo. The situation continues to be very fluid and the community remains under threat. We have some indication that there is some movement in some parts of the government in Colombia on this, for which we are grateful. But the threat to the community remains high. It is essential during this time that we remain at a high vigilance for our sisters and brothers in Tamarindo, ready to take increasing levels of advocacy on their behalf.

Colombia Delegation Report

In February, a small and committed group of PPFers went to Colombia to celebrate ten years of our partnership with the IPC and to discern how we can best continue the important work of accompaniment that has been a vital part of our work together. Without trying to rehearse the entire trip, I can tell you that we spent time in each of the three Presbyteries. In each one, there was agreement that the accompaniment work has been important, and that it remains important as we look to the future. Each Presbytery has a different approach – in some ways even a different theology of accompaniment.

Colombia Accompaniment Training

Thursday, March 10, 2016 to Monday, March 14, 2016

Stony Point Center, Stony Point, NY

 

Press Release: Urgent Work on Tenth Anniversary of Colombia Accompaniment Program

A binational delegation of Presbyterians has spent the last week traveling in Colombia to carry out an evaluation of the Accompaniment Program for Peace that just passed its tenth anniversary in November 2014. The trip took on an added urgency on January 11, 2015 when the paramilitary group "Aguilas Negras" published death threats against a diverse group of human rights promoters, including several colleagues within the Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia. Pastor Jairo Barriga, one of those named in the threat that he received directly by email, suggested that "in its own way, this is a clear sign that our accompaniment work has been evaluated and found to be effective by those whose interests are threatened by the possibility of an end to the armed conflict."

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