Over the past week, hundreds of black women from the region of Northern Cauca, in southwestern Colombia have been participating in the National Inter-Ethnic Agrarian Protest. For the sisters of the Black Women’s Mobilization for the Care of Life and the Ancestral Territories their decision to participate in the national protest was an act of Revolutionary Mothering.
This February 4, celebrating the “historic collaboration” between the United States and Colombia, current Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos visited the White House to meet with President Barack Obama as they commemorate the fifteen-year anniversary of Plan Colombia. Signed in 2000 under U.S. President Bill Clinton and Colombian President Andrés Pastrana, Plan Colombia was a $1.3 billion initiative to support the Colombian government’s counterinsurgency and counternarcotics efforts.
The campaign to shut down Colombia’s infamous La Tramacua prison, located in the country’s sweltering Caribbean region and often referred to as the “Guantanamo of Colombia,” could be on the verge of a major breakthrough. Built in the year 2000, with U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons and USAID funding, as part of the penitentiary restructuring component of Plan Colombia, La Tramacua is a veritable house of horrors.
The history of the Peace Community in San Jose de Apartado, Colombia illustrates the awareness for the need of food sovereignty that farmers have strengthened through the armed conflict. They progressively realized that independence from the armed actors also meant the independence of their food supply.
A huge amphitheater bordered by mountains. Below, in the depths of the valley crossed by the Medellin River, buildings signal the city center, highways full of cars, and as your gaze ascends the slopes, thousands of huddled houses hanging from cliffs, ravines, and gorges. Waves of migrants have tamed the hillsides, making them into a kind of vertical city.
On April 13, 2014, an Afro-Colombian community of approximately 300 families known as Puente Nayero did something unprecedented in Colombia’s largest port city of Buenaventura: they formed an urban Humanitarian Space. Criticizing the collusion of state security forces with paramilitaries, community members rejected the militarization of their oceanfront neighborhood and began resisting multinational companies trying to displace them from their homes.
On March 23rd, the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó celebrated its 18 year anniversary. This community of campesinos , located in the war-torn northwestern Urabá region of Colombia, refuses collaboration with any of country’s armed groups, including guerrilla, paramilitary, and State forces.
Labeled a humanitarian crisis by Human Rights Watch and featured in a report by Amnesty International earlier this year, Buenaventura and Puente Nayero have been gaining international attention. Even so, since the Humanitarian Space was established, more than fifty threats have been made toward community leaders and members, as well as toward the national and international accompaniers.