Colombia will organize a National Peace Congress from April 14 to 22. The initiative has been called by the Peoples’ Congress and several social movements and organizations. These groups have been working together for two years in a road map that includes building popular mandates to come up with a new way to legislate based on the people’s traditional and ancient visions of the world.
The National Peace Congress aims to propose a collective peace proposal based on the convergence of different local and regional views and initiatives. The Congress particularly aims to build a social agenda focused on significant community issues, strengthening the social movement for peace from the grassroots and do advocacy work at a regional and national level.
Colombia has suffered a social and armed conflict for over 50 years. In October of last year a new phase of peace talks began in Oslo, Norway, between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the administration of Juan Manuel Santos.
The talks are now being held in Havana, Cuba. However, and besides the bilateral talks between FARC and the Colombian government, many sectors of the country including social movements and organizations have pointed out the need to understand peace as a permanent process and not only as a cease fire.
“First, peace should be understood as a matter including all aspects of everyday life, so a peace proposal is a proposal for the country to solve not only specific problems related with the armed conflict”, said activist Sebastian Quiroga, of Colombian youth organization Tejuntas, in interview with Real World Radio.
In preparation for this event, “the Peoples’ Congress has aimed to join the building of peace initiatives from different sectors of society. This Peace Congress needs to be built through regional work because there are many different regions in this country, many conflicting views with a common national logic, but with particular aspects in each region”, said Quiroga. The regional congresses took place during the weekend in the southwest of Colombia (Popayán), in Magdalena Medio (Barrancabermeja), Bajo Cauca (Medellín) and the center of the country (Bogotá, the country’s capital city).
About the negotiations that are taking place in Havana that have attracted national and international attention in the past few months, Quiroga highlighted that “the talks need the participation of everyone involved in the conflict. We need insurgent organizations like the Popular Liberation Army (EPL) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) to participate. It is also important that social organizations are recognized and have a voice in this process, as they have historically asked to participate in the peace- building process in the country”.
Regarding the people who have so far met to come up with this grassroots initiative called National Peace Congress in a country whose government is using more and more repression to silence the community’s demands “we have said that we cannot build peace without including the victims of violence”, said Quiroga. “The victims of violence, the Colombian people as a whole, should participate in a peace building process. In this regard, the Peace Congress appears as a scenario that aims to include the voices and speak through them. We will be satisfied if there is a massive turnout at the regional congresses. We hope there will be a good discussion to go beyond the diagnoses, the particular situations and the most interesting outcome will be a political agenda, clear mandates to be able to play a role at this point”.
“Las mujeres somos quienes mantenemos la esperanza. Y creo que en ese mantener la esperanza tenemos que contagiar a muchas otras mujeres y decirles que se atrevan, que salgan, que levanten la voz, que no les dé miedo hablar. (…) Hay miedos que se nos han creado a las mujeres dentro de nuestros entornos sociales y culturales. (…) Cargamos la manta del miedo en un momento que nos llega, pero luego nos quitamos la manta del miedo, y seguimos con la manta de la esperanza”. Jakeline Romero Epiayu.
A horas de comenzar el Encuentro de Montevideo de la Jornada Continental por la Democracia y contra el Neoliberalismo, que se desarrollará en Uruguay desde el 16 al 18 de noviembre, dedicamos este Mil Voces a contarles por dónde pasará lo principal del encuentro. De la mano de voces latinoamericanas, resumimos los cuatro ejes de la jornada: libre comercio, resistencia popular al poder de las trasnacionales, democracia y soberanía e intergación de los pueblos.
En ese mismo momento y desde el estudio de radio montado en el Velódromo Municipal, sede de las actividades de la Jornada, integrantes de la Convergencia de Medios Renata Moreno y Sayonara Tamayo hacen un balance de los que fue la comunicación colaborativa durante los preparativos y el desarrollo del evento.
Radio Mundo Real 2003 - 2017 Todo el material aquí publicado está bajo una licencia Creative Commons (Atribución - Compartir igual). El sitio está realizado con Spip, software libre especializado en publicaciones web... y hecho con cariño.