Words of encouragement for a nascent Colombian peace community

La PlayitaIn Colombia´s largest port of Buenaventura, displacement, extortion, and brutal murders have reached a fever pitch. Driven by illegal armed actors and powerful economic interests, the violence in Colombia´s most dangerous city is documented in a special Human Rights Watch report released last month and was the topic of an upcoming debate in the Colombian Senate.

But this month, the community of  La Playita, one of the oceanfront neighborhoods most impacted by port expansion and illegal armed groups, took a brave stand against fear and violence. Accompanied by the Interchurch Justice and Peace Commission (JyP) and international NGOs, including Witness for Peace, they began the process of establishing the first-ever urban humanitarian zone--an area free of armed actors-- in Colombia, calling it the Puente Nayero humanitarian space. The first week culminated with a general assembly in which families committed to participating in a humanitarian space governed by the regulations they created. 

The success of this project depends on both physical accompaniment on the ground and international attention from afar. Will you send a brief message of support to the families in the Puente Nayero humanitarian space? The Witness for Peace Colombia team will translate English messages to Spanish and share them with La Playita.