16 Years Peace Community San José de Apartadó, Colombia



Today we send very special greetings this week to Colombia, to our friends of many years, the courageous inhabitants of the peace community of San José de Apartadó.

March 23rd is the anniversary of the founding of the community. Sixteen years ago, refugees and farmers in an extremely embattled region of Colombia came together and said: We will not be driven out. We do not want revenge, but neither will we yield to violence. We will follow the way of non-violence. The foundation of our villages, and of our lives, will be the power of solidarity and of community.

 We can take a moment to get a feeling for the radicality of this decision: No revenge, no violence, but also no fear. There is instead fidelity to different path. It is the kind of decision that pulls the foundation out from under those in power. 
 Over these 16 years, they have been maligned, persecuted, and 200 of them have been killed. Yet the community holds firm, together with an international network of people who accompany them, and who again and again bring worldwide attention to their situation. In their “Peasant University of Resistance,” the next generation of the whole country can study the knowledge of autonomy and peace. 

Tamera has been working closely together with the peace community for eight years. After a visit to Tamera, the leadership of the community found a vision and a decision, to create a training village in the middle of the jungle: Mulatos. They now wish even more for assistance from Tamera with this training, for everything that is needed there. And for their protection they need the continuous presence of internationals.   

Vera Kleinhammes, Laure Luciani, and Patrick Rudolf from Tamera are presently in San José for the celebration of the anniversary of the founding, and to prepare the next stage of the cooperation. Within the the framework of the Global Campus, we are planning a building- and training time in Mulatos for later in the year.