10.000 Cartas de Amor y Resistencia para Sara Quinonez y Tulia Maris!

#SarayTuliaLibresYa!

UPDATE!!!!

¡Escribamos 10.000 Cartas de Amor y Resistencia para

Sara Quinonez y Doña Tulia Maris!

– English and French versions below! –

Biografias:

Tulia Maris Valencia  

Sara Liliana Quiñonez

Envia tu carta para Sara y Tulia Maris aquí

Nuestras hermanas Tulia Maris Valencia y Sara Liliana Quiñonez son nacidas en el Consejo Comunitario Alto Mira y Frontera, ubicado en el municipio de Tumaco en el pacifico sur Colombiano.
Desde el 2014 nuestras hermanas han resistido amenazas, señalamientos y hostigamientos direccionados por intereses y sectores detrás de los monocultivos de la palma aceitera y la hoja de coca, intereses del narcotráfico y sus redes, e intereses de quienes buscan apropiarse de las instituciones propias de gobierno afrodescendiente.
Ya Sara como Doña Tulia Maris nos habían dicho que: “es necesaria la destrucción de los lazos familiares y comunitarios, de nuestra gobernabilidad, del olvido de las practicas ancestrales para la siembra y el cuidado de la vida para que esos intereses puedan imponerse y permanecer”. Esos intereses estuvieron detrás del asesinato de nuestros hermanos Genaro Garcia y Jair Cortez, que también estuvieron como Sara, en la presidencia del Consejo Comunitario. Por eso no hubo más opción para nuestras hermanas que salir desplazadas para preservar sus vidas y la de sus familias.
Y, en lugar de obtener respuesta sobre como operan estos intereses y porque siguen amenazando y asesinando en territorios afrodescedientes, de proteger las vidas de nuestras hermanas, las instituciones competentes como la Fiscalía General de la Nación, la fuerza pública, las acusan de rebelión, concierto para delinquir con fines de narcotráfico sumándose por omisión, y con impunidad a los fines de los intereses que las quieren silenciadas o muertas.
Actualmente nuestras hermanas esperan la apelación a la medida de privación de libertad porque fueron señaladas de ser peligrosas para la sociedad. Actualmente están silenciadas en la Cárcel de máxima seguridad en Jamundi (Valle del Cauca).
Este 20 de Julio Colombia conmemora el aniversario 208 del primer grito de independencia de España. De los 199 años de vida republicana le ha tomado 172 años reconocer -en el papel-, nuestros aportes como pueblo negro a esa conquista. Sin embargo hoy día la estructura racial de las instituciones que integran las ramas del poder público impiden la concreción de nuestros derechos a la autodeterminación y al gobierno propio.
Este 20 de julio también se cumplen dolorosamente 180 días de confinamiento de nuestras hermanas, 180 días de aislamiento de su vida familiar y comunitaria. Son 180 días de castigo a su liderazgo y participación en instituciones de gobierno propio, 180 días donde las redes y carteles de la impunidad buscan debilitar sus espíritus.
Es por ello que, para para cuidar de sus espíritus, para cuidar de sus corazones, para decirles que no están solas, que les estamos convocando a que les escribamos y que, a través de las palabras, las alcancen nuestros sentimientos y pensamientos de fortaleza y persistencia en este compromiso nuestro de hacer real para la Vida toda la justicia, la libertad y la alegría.
Alleguemosles 10.000 motivos de resistencia, 10.000 cartas de amor juntas y juntos en la defensa y cuidado de la Vida y lo que la hace comunitaria y colectiva. Juntas y juntos en la construcción de instituciones para la justicia social, ambiental y económica, donde todos los principios constitucionales  sean en la practica, sobre todo la protección al ejercicio de los derechos a la autodeterminación y nuestra opción propia de presente y futuro.

Invitamos a todas las organizaciones, cuidadoras y cuidadores de la vida, defensoras y defensores de derecho humanos, de los derechos de la naturaleza que envíen sus cartas al correo:

saraytulialibresya@gmail.com

Por favor indicar en la carta:

-Lugar desde donde se le escribe,
-Mensaje amor y resistencia
-Firma con nombre de la persona y/o organización
-Su consentimiento o no para hacerla publica.

Pronunciamiento inicial Proceso de Comunidades Negras.

Proceso de Comunidades Negras- #SarayTuliaMarisLibresYa   – Julio 2018

ENGLISH VERSION

Let’s Write 10,000 Letters of Love and Resistance to Sara and Tulia Maris!

Our sisters Tulia Maris Valencia and Sara Liliana Quiñonez were born in the Afro-Colombian Community Council of Alto Mira and Frontera in the municipality of Tumaco on the southern Pacific coast of Colombia.

Since 2014, our sisters have resisted death threats, smear campaigns, and attacks directed by the forces behind oil palm and coca monocultures, drug traffickers and affiliated networks, and others interested in appropriating the autonomous institutions of Afro-descendant governance.

Sara and Doña Tulia Maris already told us that: “in order to impose those interests, it is necessary to destroy our family and community ties; our form of governance; to forget our ancestral practices of farming and the care of life.” Those same interests were behind the murders of our brothers Genaro García and Jair Cortez, who – like Sara – presided over the Community Council of Alto Mira and Frontera. That is why our sisters had no other option but to leave their territory in order to save their own lives and the lives of their family members.

Instead of receiving a just response about how and why these interests continue to threaten and murder in Afro-descendent territories, the Attorney General’s Office and the military falsely accuse our sisters of sedition (rebelión) and conspiracy to commit a crime related to narcotics trafficking. Meanwhile, there is impunity for the interests that want to silence or murder them.

Our sisters are currently deprived of their freedom as they await an appeal because they were designated as dangerous for society. They are being silenced in the Maximum Security Prison of Jamundi (Valle del Cauca).

This July 20, Colombia will commemorate its 208th anniversary of independence from Spain. It took 172 years for the republic to recognize – on paper – our contributions as black peoples to that achievement. Today, however, the racist structure of the branches of state poser impedes our rights to self-determination and self-government.

This July 20 also painfully corresponds with 180 days of the confinement of our sisters. 180 days of isolation from their family and community life. 180 days of punishment for their leadership and participation in institutions of self-government. 180 days where the networks and cartels of impunity attempt to debilitate their spirit.

That is why we invite you to tend to their spirits and hearts by letting them know that they are not alone. We call on you to write letters to them. Through our words, our feelings and thoughts of strength and persistence can reach them, as well as our commitment to making justice, freedom, and joy a reality for Life.

Let’s send them 10,000 reasons for resistance—10,000 letters of love in the defense and care of life and everything that makes it communal and collective. Together, in creating institutions of social, environmental, and economic justice, wherein all the constitutional principles are practiced, especially  the protection of the rights to exercise self-determination and a present and future of our own choosing.

We invite all of the organizations, caregivers of life, human rights defenders, and defenders of nature to send letters to this e-mail address:

saraytulialibresya@gmail.com

Please include the following in the letter:

-Location from where the letter is sent

-A message of love and resistance

-Signature with the name of the person and/or organization

-Your consent (or not) to make it public

 

FRENCH VERSION

On va écrit 10,000 lettres d’amour et de résistance à Sara et Tulia Maris!

 

Nos sœurs Tulia Maris Valencia et Sara Liliana Quiñonez sont nées dans le Conseil Communautaire Afro – Colombien d’Alto Mira et Frontera dans la municipalité de Tumaco sur la côte du pacifique du sud de la Colombie.

Depuis 2014, nos sœurs résistées aux menaces de mort, des campagnes de diffamation et des attaques adressées par les forces derrière la paume pétrolière et des monocultures de coca, des narcotrafiquants et réseaux affiliés ainsi que d’autres intéressés par approprier les institutions autonomes de gouvernance d’Afro-descendant peuple.

Sara et Doña Tulia Maris nous a déjà dit que : “pour imposer ces intérêts, il est nécessaire de détruire nos liens familiaux et communautaires ; notre forme de gouvernance ; oublier nos pratiques héréditaires d’agriculture et le soin de vie.” Ces mêmes intérêts étaient derrière les meurtres de nos frères Genaro García et Jair Cortez, qui – comme Sara – ils ont présidé le Conseil Communautaire d’Alto Mira et Frontera. C’est pourquoi nos sœurs n’avaient aucune autre option, mais laisser leur territoire pour sauver leurs propres vies et les vies de leurs membres de son famille.

Au lieu de recevoir une juste réponse de comme et pourquoi ces intérêts continuent à menacer et assassiner dans des territoires d’Afro-descendant peuple, le Bureau du Procureur Général et l’armée accusent faussement nos sœurs de sédition (rebelión) et conspiration pour commettre un crime lié au trafic de narcotiques. En attendant, il y a une impunité pour les intérêts qui veulent au silence ou les assassinent.

Nos sœurs sont actuellement privées de leur liberté pendant que ils attendent un appel parce qu’ils ont été désignés comme dangereux pour la société. Elles sont réduites au silence dans la prison de haute sécurité de Jamundi (Valle del Cauca).

Ce 20 juillet, la Colombie commémorera son 208ème anniversaire d’indépendance de l’Espagne. Il a pris 172 ans pour la république pour reconnaître – sur le papier – nos contributions comme des peuples noirs à cet accomplissement. Aujourd’hui, cependant, la structure raciste des branches de pouvoir d’état empêche nos droits à l’autodétermination et l’autonomie.

Ce 20 juillet correspond aussi déplorablement avec 180 jours de l’emprisonnement de nos sœurs. 180 jours d’isolement de leur famille et vie associative. 180 jours de punition pour leur leadership et participation dans les institutions d’autonomie. 180 jours où les réseaux et les cartels d’impunité essayent de débiliter leur esprit.

C’est pourquoi nous vous invitons à ouvrir vos cœurs et esprits en les faisant savoir qu’ils ne sont pas seuls. Nous vous invitons à leur écrire des lettres. Par nos mots, nos sentiments et pensées de force et persistance nous pouvons être avec eux à distance, aussi bien que notre engagement à faire de la justice, la liberté et la joie une réalité pour la vie.

Envoyons-leur 10,000 raisons à la résistance – 10,000 lettres d’amour dans la défense et le soin de vie et tout qui le rend commun et collectif. Ensemble, dans la création des institutions de justice sociale, environnementale et économique, où tous les principes constitutionnels sont pratiqués, particulièrement la protection des droits pour exercer l’autodétermination et un présent et futur de notre propre choix.

Nous invitons toutes les organisations, soignants de vie, des défenseurs de droits de l’homme et les défenseurs de nature à envoyer des lettres à cette adresse électronique :saraytulialibresya@gmail.com

Incluez s’il vous plaît l’information suivante dans la lettre :

-Lieu d’où la lettre est envoyée.
-A message d’amour et résistance.
-Signature avec le nom de la personne et/ou de l’organisation.
-Votre consentement (ou pas) pour le faire public.

 

 

 

 

CASA: 15 Anniversary Celebration!

 

15 Years Building Solidarity with Social Struggles in Colombia for a Better World!

Facebook

Browse our last 30 years of solidarity work with Colombia here:

Presentation

 

 

 

Saturday, November 24, 2018 – Casa Maíz, 1280 Finch Av. # 204 – 2nd Floor (Subway: Finch West)

Doors open @ 8:00 pm with Solidarity messages; 9:00 – 2:00 Celebration

Tickets $15

 

Performance by 2018 JUNO Award Nominated Ruben ‘Beny’ Esguerra and the New Tradition Music, releasing their first official music video: “Bounce Right Back”

******

Special Guest performance by Lady Son

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DJs La Rumba Buena and

DJ Siez Swift

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SOLIDARITY MESSAGES — MENSAJES DE SOLIDARIDAD

 

Francisco Ramirez Cuellar, internationally known trade unionist leader and lawyer.  Former president of SINTRAMINERCOL and current member of CUT, legal Dept.  Francisco is also a member of the national executive committee of FUNTRAENERGETICA, and lead the process which condemned US based coal company Drummond for their involvement in the assassination and displacement of thousands of Colombians.  Having already escaped eight attempts on his life, Canadian solidarity organizations are asking the government of Colombia to protect his life and to identify those responsible for the attacks and threats against him.

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María Ubilerma Sanabria, is one of the “Mothers of Soacha”. The children of these mothers were murdered by members of the Colombian National Army and presented as guerrillas killed in combat.  Today, they denounce the death of 19 young residents in the municipality of Soacha and Bogotá, whose bodies appeared in a common grave in the north-east of the country, in the department of Norte de Santander, more than 700 kilometers from Soacha.  Since 2008, the Mothers of Soacha, denounce the murders and the impunity of the crimes committed against their children, today sadly known as “False positives”.

 

 

 

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Kathy Price is a campaigner responsible for Amnesty Canada’s work on Mexico, Colombia and Honduras. She works closely with human rights defenders in those countries and believes passionately in the importance of visible action from Canada in support of their inspiring efforts.

Dear friends, I wish I was here to celebrate with you tonight but sadly, I am not able because of a death in my family.  However, I am with you in spirit and solidarity. I send warm greetings and heartfelt congratulations on this important anniversary, on behalf of your friends at Amnesty International Canada.
The commitment, creativity, profound solidarity, and tireless work of the members of the Colombia Action Solidarity Alliance over these past 15 years is deeply inspiring. You have opened many eyes in Canada with your events, vigils and rallies and mobilized many people to take action with you. Your activism and your voices are so, so important.
At Amnesty International Canada, we share the same goal of working to support courageous grassroots organizations in Colombia and their efforts to achieve rights, justice and dignity.  It has been a great privilege on countless occasions to collaborate and join our energies to make visible terrible human rights violations and press for action to bring them to justice, with the hope of ensuring they never happen again.
Sadly, despite the signing of a peace agreement, our collective energies are still urgently needed as armed conflict and paramilitary repression continue in Colombia. Those who courageously defend human rights and social justice in Colombia are under relentless attack, with a wave of assassinations of social leaders. Indigenous peoples and Afro-descendant communities are facing new forced displacement from land desired for its economic potential.
They do not give up and neither do we.  There is no doubt that the work of the Colombia Action Solidarity Alliance is needed now more than ever, not only to focus on the responsibilities of Colombian authorities. But also to focus on the obligations and responsibilities of Canada and Canadian corporations.
Congratulations CASA for your history of struggle! Animo for the struggles yet ahead!  We look forward to collaborating again and strengthening our solidarity.
Abrazos y saludos,
Kathy Price, Colombia Campaigner, Amnesty International Canada

 

*****

Bill Fairbairn became deeply involved with solidarity work – in particular around Latin America – after spending time with Argentinean and Chilean refugees fleeing the military regimes in their countries in the late 1970’s  and studying in Guatemala in the early 1980s during the Lucas Garcia dictatorship. Since then, his work has largely focused on the defense of human rights in Latin America and the promotion of Canadian solidarity.  He has worked with the Inter-Church Committee on Human Rights in Latin America (ICCHRLA), KAIROS, York University’s Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) and Horizons of Friendship.  Bill joined the staff at Inter Pares in 2011 and is part of the Latin America team with main responsibilities for Inter Pares’ work in Peru and Colombia.

Dear compañeras and compañeros,  I am sending warm greetings to you from Colombia where I have been for the past two weeks, visiting a number of Inter Pares’ partners throughout the country. As always, it has been a very moving time: hearing stories of profound courage from activists coming from many different social movements – women, Indigenous, Afro-Colombian, campesino and LGBTQ2, among others – who continue to persevere in the midst of an ongoing human rights crisis.
The important work that the Colombia Action Solidarity Alliance has undertaken over the past fifteen years has helped forge and deepen strong bonds of friendship and solidarity between Canadians and Colombians from many of these same social movements. Together with my colleagues at Inter Pares and so many others, I congratulate you for your dedication and steadfast commitment in helping to raise awareness and mobilize Canadians to take action in support of our Colombian sisters and brothers.
I have had the great pleasure of working with many of you over the years – in fact, the Canadian Colombian community in Toronto (at that point, grouped under the Canadian Colombian Association) played a huge role in helping the organization I worked for at that time, the Inter-Church Committee on Human Rights in Latin America, understand the urgent need to engage with Colombia. This led to my first trip to the country in 1989 and to both institutional as well as personal engagements that continue to this day. On a personal note, I can say without a doubt that I have rarely encountered such courage and resilience as well as warmth and generosity of heart as during my encounters with the peoples of Colombia.
There have been many advances over the years, but as everyone is telling me on this trip, the situation in Colombia remains critical and international solidarity is needed now more than ever. These past weeks I have heard account after account of an increase in attacks against the country’s social movements and leaders, growing militarization, and a new government that seems bent on reversing the progress made in the peace accords reached with the FARC.
As CASA and its allies gather together to mark this important anniversary, I send my best wishes to you and assure you of Inter Pares and my own personal commitment to continue working with you and others to accompany the peoples of Colombia. This includes both maintaining pressure on the Colombian government and taking a hard look at the way Canadian corporations and Canadian government policies are contributing to the violence and insecurity that our Colombian sisters and brothers are experiencing on a daily basis.
Abrazos solidarios,
Bill Fairbairn, Inter Pares

*****

Jorge Garcia-Orgales (Researcher, United Steelworkers) at the Industry, Science and Technology Committee, came to Canada from Argentina as a refugee in the early 1980s.  Soon, he became actively involved in program development and training for union members, the unemployed and immigrant workers. His training experience encompassed language training, life skills support and new workplace technology awareness. His clients include the Communications, Energy and Paper Workers; Metro Labour Education; the Canadian Auto Workers Union; and the Doris Marshall Institute for Education and Action.

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Luis Alberto Mata is a convention refugee writer, researcher and human rights activist from Colombia. He has lived in and contributed to Canadian society since his arrival in 2002 and was recognized as a Convention Refugee in 2003. Luis Alberto fled Colombia when his life and that of his wife and their young son were under threat. He was at risk due to his work as a social justice advocate, journalist and author as he exposed some of the worst human rights violations in Colombia. Luis Alberto has become a pillar of our community advocating for dispossessed people and helping immigrants and refugees to settle in Canada.

Querid@s amig@s, La organización CASA desde su origen ha estado presente en mi vida canadiense, diría desde la primavera del 2003, luego de que conociera a Darío en una actividad y me invitara a reunirme. Días más tarde conocí a Ilian, y no mucho después a Martha, y también a Sandra, que también recien llegaba como refugiada al Canadá (si mal no estoy, en una actividad organizada por UFCW, que nos apoyaba por aquellos días), y también, coincidimos en una actividad de Amnistía Internacional.
No muy tarde, desde 2003 he estado vinculado con este grupo de compañer@s. He disfrutado todas las etapas, y participado en casi todas nuestras actividades de solidaridad, no solo con las organizaciones sociales de base defensoras de la paz y los derechos humanos en Colombia, también y a menudo apoyando actividades pro derechos humanos internacionalistas, principalmente con luchas por justicia social en América Latina. He participado haciendo lobbying o en giras y reuniones más allá de Ontario.
Ha sido una relación feliz, porque también recibí el apoyo de varios miembros de CASA durante mi dificil y prolongado proceso de refugio y residencia junto a mi familia en Canadá. En días de soledad durante esos largos 12 años de limbo migratorio, tuve en mis compas de CASA la voz de aliento que necesitaba.
Hemos también impulsado, por fuera de CASA, pero con miembros de la organización, iniciativas políticas como la del Polo Democrático, especialmente en sus orígenes como proceso de unidad. No puedo ni podré olvidar la incansable y feliz actividad a favor del Sí en el referendo para aprobar los acuerdos de paz firmados en La Habana, que para nosotros, pese a todas las tendencias y el triste resultado final, significó una gran victoria para nosotros en Toronto. Dimos una muestra formidable de trabajo amplio y colectivo, y sobre todo demostramos cuanto amamos y deseamos  la paz con justicia social y ddhh.
Escribo todo esto para decirles a tod@s con profundo aprecio, que llevo a CASA, incluyendo las necesarias tensiones y polémicas internas, y su valioso trabajo de solidaridad en mi corazón. CASA es un ejemplo sencillo de trabajo voluntario e internacionalista con los más necesitados en Colombia,esopecialmente l@s necesitad@s de paz y justicia social.
Gracias a todos y todas por ser parte de este noble esfuerzo colectivo. Gratitud especial con Darío, Martha e Ilian por contribuir a mantener viva la idea, especialmente en épocas duras y de confrontación política e ideológica. Gratitud por haberme invitado a ser parte de este proceso desde sus comienzos, y por continuar aceptándome.
Un inmenso abrazo para todas y todos nuestros amigos, con un grito: Hasta la Victoria!
Fraternalmente Luis Alberto Mata.

 

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Professor Rebbeca Bartel is a scholar of Religion in the Americas, she has received her B.A. from the Canadian Mennonite University (Theology and Music), her M.A. from the Colombian university, Los Andes (Political Science) and her PhD from the University of Toronto (Religion). Her last research considers the political economy of Colombia’s armed conflict, the Christian morality that supports political processes of forgiveness, as well as the effects of Canadian mining on human rights discourse in Colombia.

Javier Augusto Núñez is a passionate and experienced filmmaker with more than 10 years of experience in audiovisual, multimedia, and film production with an international track record in Canada, Colombia and United States.  He has participated as a Producer in the 2012 Short Film Corner of Cannes Film Festival with two short films and was selected in the 2011 Havana Film Festival as a producer in the industry section “Nuevas Miradas 5” with an animated feature film project. Four short films directed and produced by Javier were selected for the Canadian Film Centre to be screened at the Short Non Stop Online Film Festival in October 2011. 

 

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Kyla Sankey is a London-based activist and political commentator. She is a PhD candidate in the School of Politics and International Relations at Queen Mary, University of London.

 

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Sandra Cordero, CASA member and a Personal Support Worker (PSW) at ParaMed Home Health Care Toronto is passionate about humanity and social justice and at 18 years old became the youngest leader in her healthcare union while working as a medical assistant

-Felicitaciones por Nuestros Quince CASA- Buenos dias companeras y companeros:  Deseo expresar mi alegria por este cumpleanos tan lindo que tuvimos. Se siente el gran corazon de todos. El esfuerzo de todos. La intergeneracionalidad, el ver los ninos, mi nieta hermosa, el aporte artistico de New Tradition, los companeros adultos y nuestras companeras hermosas todo este grandioso valor humano son la motivacion para seguir con el proceso de sensibilidad humana, en el proceso de seguir sonando con un mundo mejor.
Ayer al verlos mi segunda familia CASA, participe con mucho amor, alegria, baile hasta sudar, rei y renove mis energias, nuevamente me senti apoyada por su solidaridad infinita en momentos dificiles con sus abrazos en demostracion de empatia con Deybi. La abuela me enseno siempre hay que reir en momentos dificiles aunque por dentro estemos llorando….
Companeras y companeros les envio un abrazo y nuevamente felicitaciones por su sensibilidad humana porque hemos formado una familia inclusiva e intergeneracional.

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Luis van Isschot is a historian of modern Latin America, specializing in the study of social movements, popular radicalism, political violence and human rights. His first book “The Social Origins of Human Rights: Protesting Political Violence in Colombia’s Oil Capital, 1919-2010”, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 2015 as part of their Critical Human Rights series. It is being published in Spanish by Editorial Universidad del Rosario.  His newest research project concerns Latin American participation in global anti-colonial movements in the 1960s and 1970s. He is also working on a history of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUDgieFAcNA

 

and our final message!!

 

Hey Beautiful people! Thanks to everyone who came out Saturday night. We were very happy with the great turnout, support and positive vibe throughout the evening.

Thanks to Luis Rojas and Casa Maiz for graciously hosting us in the heart of Toronto’s Latin American community.

Big up to Ruben “Benny” Esguerra and New Tradition on the release of their new music video and for always giving back to the different communities that they draw their inspiration from.

Lady Son and New Tradition brought the house down with their rendition of Fruko’s Colombian salsa anthem “El Preso” (Prisoner):

Listen, I speak to you from prison
From the world in which I’m living
There are always four corners
But between corner and corner
There will always be the same
For me, there’s no sky
Neither moon nor stars
For me, the sun doesn’t shine
For me everything is darkness

La Rumba Buena DJs brought it home keeping it real, always drawing from the musical source that keeps the salsa river flowing.

P’alante hasta la proxima!

Colombia. e-Petition to the House of Commons. Please sign and support!

Spanish Version below

 

In 2016, Colombia signed a precedent setting peace agreement that ended the 53 year of internal armed conflict in which 220,000 people were killed, more than 6 million were internally displaced and tens of thousands disappeared.

The peace accord put an end to the longest armed conflict in the Western Hemisphere But it is now at risk as Colombia’s new President, Ivan Duque, has explicitly stated he does not support the agreement. Since the peace agreement was signed, the killings have increased to more than 300 community leaders, including peasants, indigenous people, trade unionists, students, Afro-Colombians, political opposition activists, social leaders and environmental activists.

We are urging the government of Canada, who has been one of the biggest backers of the peace implementation process, to act by following through on its commitments to support the accord and join the International community in condemning these killings.

Please sign and share the official petition that will be presented to the House of Commons.

We have only 90 days to collect 500 signatures!

 

STEPS TO SIGN THE e-PETITION

 

1. OPEN THIS LINK & SIGN PETITION HERE:

2. Once the petition in on your desktop, at the bottom of the text, there is a button entitled: “Sign the Petition” to open the link:

3. Immediately a second screen appears in which you can fill out your information.

4. Please complete all fields marked with the RED asterisk; they are mandatory and if this information is not finalized, your petition would be cancelled.

5. Select each of the small squares below the last field “Postal Code” (to place a tick-mark) and do not forget to write the same characters that appear there when you open the request. This step is very important because, they would confirm that you are not a robot and that you are not sending thousands of requests on behalf of other people.

6. Finally, when you press the button “Sign“, a message will arrive in your Inbox saying that you need to confirm that you are the person who has just signed the petition. This is done through a link that arrives inside the message and which you only have to press. This last step is perhaps the most important.

Please help us to collect all the necessary signatures! Not always can we count on the support of a Canadian PM trying to help us in placing pressure to the Colombian government. We must seize this incredible opportunity.

 

Sign and forward widely, Thank you!

 

Colombia Action Solidarity Alliance – CASA

VERSION EN ESPAÑOL

 

 

En 2016, Colombia firmó un modelo de acuerdo de paz que puso fin a 53 años de conflicto armado interno, en el cual 220,000 personas fueron asesinadas, más de 6 millones fueron desplazados internamente y decenas de miles desaparecieron.

El acuerdo de paz puso fin al conflicto armado más prolongado del hemisferio occidental, pero ahora está en riesgo ya que el nuevo presidente de Colombia, Iván Duque, ha declarado explícitamente que no apoya el acuerdo. Desde que se firmó el acuerdo de paz, el asesinato de líderes sociales han ido en aumento. En este lapso han perdido la vida más de 300 líderes, incluidos campesinos, indígenas, sindicalistas, estudiantes, afrocolombianos, activistas de oposición política, líderes comunitarios y ambientalistas.

Instamos al gobierno de Canadá, que ha sido uno de los principales patrocinadores del proceso de implementación de la paz, a que actúe cumpliendo sus compromisos de apoyar el acuerdo y unirse a la comunidad internacional para condenar estos asesinatos.

Por favor, firme y comparta la petición oficial que será presentada a la Cámara de los Comunes.

Tenemos solo 90 días para recolectar 500 firmas!

 

PASOS PARA FIRMAR LA PETICIÓN EN LÍNEA:

 

 

1.  Oprima este link y firme la petición aquí:

2.  Con la  petición en su pantalla, en la parte de abajo del texto hay un botón para abrir el link titulado: “Sign the Petition”

3. Inmediatamente aparece una segunda pantalla en la cual usted puede llenar sus datos.

4. Atención: todos los “fields”, marcados con el asterisco ROJO son obligatorios; si no se responden, su petición será entonces  anulada.

5. Seleccione cada uno de los cuadrados pequeños de bajo de “Postal Code” (para colocar una marquilla) y no olvide escribir los mismos caracteres que allí aparecen cuando usted abre la petición.  Este paso es muy importante porque así, ellos se darán cuenta que usted no es un robot y que no esta enviando miles de peticiones a nombre de otras personas.

6. Finalmente, cuando usted oprime el botón “Sign“, le va a llegar un mensaje a su e-mail, Inbox, diciendo que confirme que usted si es la persona que acaba de firmar la petición. Esto se hace a través de un link que llega dentro del mismo mensaje y el cual usted  solo debe oprimir. Este último paso es tal vez el más importante.

Les rogamos por favor nos ayuden a recoger todas las firmas necesarias. No siempre se cuenta con el apoyo de un PM Canadiense cuando se busca ejercer presión al gobierno Colombiano. Hay que aprovechar esta increíble oportunidad.

Firme y circule ampliamente, Gracias!

Colombia Action Solidarity Alliance – CASA

 

 

https://petitions.ourcommons.ca/en/Petition/Details?Petition=e-1801

Petition to the Government of Canada

Whereas:

 

  • Since the signing of the final Peace Accords on November 24, 2016, more than 300 indigenous, union, community, student, Afro-Colombian and political activist leaders have been assassinated. These crimes are being perpetrated against those who demand the return of their lands, promote the voluntary eradication of illicit crops, and represent opposition political parties. Eighty-four former FARC combatants and their relatives have also been killed;

  • It is well noted that President-Elect Ivan Duque opposes the peace agreements and their implementation, even though it is known that a failure of the peace accords would mean a return to war. This is not in the interest of the Colombian people;

  • We appeal to the Government of Canada to continue the monitoring of transitional justice mechanisms and contribute to the reaffirmation of the rule of law so that all people in Colombia can enjoy a fair society; and

  • Behind every murdered leader is a family and the aspirations of thousands of people who dream of living in a more just country.

We, the undersigned, a coalition of Canadian citizens and residents, and Colombian Citizens, call upon the Government of Canada to :

 

1. Demand that the Colombian state, and its new president, protect these leaders.

2. Denounce the killings and adding the Canadian voice to other international leaders who have already stepped forward publicly.

3. Follow through on the Canadian Government’s commitment to support the implementation of the peace agreements.

Colombia en Paz? El proceso y su Rumbo

Conferencia sobre el Estado Actual del Conflicto Social en Colombia

Sabado, Septiembre 15, 2018 @ 5:30 pm

Centro Cultural Latinoamericano – 1756 Eglington Avenue West

Conferencista: Francisco Ramirez, Abogado Sindical

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CASA sends letter to Justin Trudeau and Chrystia Freeland

Toronto, August 7, 2018

 

Honourable Justin Trudeau,

Prime Minister of Canada

Hon. Chrystia Freeland,

Minister of Foreign Affairs

 

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Freeland:

 

We the undersigned, are asking the Canadian government to act and pressure the newly elected Colombian government of President Iván Duque, to protect the lives of social and community leaders who are experiencing an escalation of violence and systemic murder. We also ask the Canadian government to take clear steps to ensure the democratic right to protest.

Since the signing of the final peace agreement between the outgoing government of Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC in November 24, 2016, targeted threats and assassinations of social and community leaders have intensified. According to homicides registered by the Defensoria del Pueblo (Ombudsman), between January 1, 2016 to June 30, 2018 more than 300 community leaders, including peasant, Indigenous, trade union, student, Afro-Colombian, neighbourhood leaders and political opposition activists, have been murdered. In addition, 84 former FARC guerillas and their families, who demobilised, have been murdered.

During the campaign leading up to the May 27, 2018 presidential election, we also witnessed an increase in threats and selective murders targeting activists associated with left and centre-left political parties, including the Colombia Humana movement.

The election of the Duque government imperils the prospect of sustainable peace in Colombia. Duque and his right-wing Centro Democratico (CD) party opposed the peace agreement and has consistently hindered its implementation. For example, the CD attacked the Special Jurisdiction for Peace or JEP. The JEP is the transitional justice system enshrined in the peace agreement. It is intended to investigate and prosecute all actors (state, FARC and civilian) who committed or were complicit in crimes related to the armed conflict. The CD’s opposition to the JEP in the Congress resulted in limiting its investigative scope and excluding the participation of so-called “third-parties”. Effectively, this means that non-state actors, including politicians or businesspeople who supported or financed human rights violations or war crimes are not obligated to testify before the JEP.

Furthermore, the CD temporarily excluded the participation of members of the police and military in the JEP stating that they should have their own transitional justice tribunal separate from the FARC. These measures omit crucial information for the public understanding of the historical record of more than 50 years of internal armed conflict. Worse, it guarantees impunity, for crimes committed by state officials, army, policy and powerful economic elites.

Duque also campaigned on a promise to merge the country’s different courts into one super-court influenced by the Executive branch of government. This decision means the investigation by the Supreme Court against former president Alvaro Uribe Velez may be eliminated, resulting in the exoneration for any crimes that he may have committed.

In addition, the CD opposed the approval of an important law in Congress, the Circunscripciones Especiales para la Paz. This law would have granted victims of the armed conflict and the regions which they inhabit representation in the Colombian Parliament through the creation of designated seats.

President Duque plans to reform the Land Restitution Law, which according to experts would prevent lands violently snatched from tens of thousands of displaced rural communities to be returned to them.

A failure to implement these aspects of the peace agreement could mean a return to war. Endless cycles of armed conflict are detrimental not only to the stability and well-being of the Colombians, but of the hemisphere. Such a failure is a betrayal of the aspirations for peace of Colombians, especially for the victims, who endured decades of armed conflict. It is also a serious breach of the international commitments made by the Colombian State with the signing of the peace agreement.

As Canadian citizens and residents, we urge our Government to assume a firm stance with the Colombian State and its new Government. First, we ask the Canadian government to demand an immediate end to the killings of social and community movement leaders. Second, we ask the Canadian Government to demand that the Colombian government respect and implement all aspects of the peace agreement. Canada must also ensure that development aid funds for community projects that implement various aspects of the peace agreement are monitored for appropriate use.

Behind every murdered leader and activist is a family and community suffering a deep loss. Also lost are the aspirations of thousands of people who dream of living in a more just society.

Signed,

(Original letter has 47 signatures)

 

If you would like to sign this letter, please send your name, city and postal code to: colombiactionsolidarity@gmail.com