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Peace is not stopped by borders (Colombia and Venezuela)
an article by Radio Mundo Real

During the final preparations for the National Peace Congress to be held in the Colombian capital next weekend, the meaning and scope of the meeting both for Colombia and other countries in the continent is discussed by Edgar Mojica Venegas, member of the coordinating team for the Congress.

National March for Peace (image from video)

click on photo to enlarge

Mojica was one of the participants of the X International Meeting of the Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Activists in Defence of Humanity that will meet in Caracas, Venezuela, to continue the political legacy of Hugo Chavez.

In this interview with Radio Mundo Real, Mojica reflects on what is the starting point for the discussion of peace in his country from the perspective of social and humanitarian movements.

"We start from a basic element, trying a couple of categories to reach a consensus around peace. Peace for us is a process that goes beyond the situation and bilateral dialogue. Men and women have been construcing peace a long time already and that construction should be respected," said Mojica.

The National Peace Congress (NPC) is an initiative of the Congress of the Peoples of Colombia which has representation from a wide range of social and political organizations, which shows the scope of the proposal.

As the second central element in the conceptualization of the NPC, Mojica said: "Peace is dynamic and is built from local to regional and regional to national in an exercise of consensus in proposals and historical works."

It is also necessary to identify the causes that gave rise to armed conflict that has continued over half a century in Colombia if we are to overcome the conflict through long-neglected structural changes.

Employment, health, housing, use of natural resources, these are some of the core issues to be addressed on the way of constructing peace, says Mojica, who defines the process as "a dialogue of many voices".

According to Mojica, this requires reversing the "culture of war" that has sunk its roots in Colombian society by a "culture of peace", the consolidation of a social movement for peace. "The practice of peace building is on the street, in the social movement," he states. To achieve a lasting peace with sufficient political force to overcome the old bilateral logic of "the State versus the insurgency," he says that we must take into account that peace in his country has repercussions throughout the region, especially since Colombia has become the main focus of U.S. intervention in South America.

In this regard, here is a video of the National March for Peace held in Bogotá on April 9, produced by Contagio Radio.

(Click here for a Spanish version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

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The force of non-violence constrains the force of arms!

Colombia - the force of peaceful resistance -
At the beginning of July, the rebels of the armed revolutionary forces of Colombia (FARC) kidnapped a 51 year old Swiss, and his Colombian assistant who worked in the Indian communities of Cauca province where they were setting up development projects by building schools and community production enterprises.

The news of the kidnapping was spread through all the villages and 2000 Indians set out to pursue the 400 guerillas. They reached them at an elevation of over 4000 meters (12,000 feet), encircled them, and without any weapon, constrained them to release the 2 hostages! (After 2 days, the hostages were released).

This release, obtained through "peaceful resistance" has raised a national debate: the possibility of resisting violence without needing to use weapons has demonstrated the effectiveness of human solidarity movements.

"I will return, and I will then be millions" prophesied the Aymara Indian leader Tapak Katari, in 1781, at the time of his execution by the Spanish conquistadors.

100 million in 1492, the Indians were no more than 4,5 million one century and half later. Currently there are 44 million Indians populating Latin America.

In spite of their great diversity, the Indian movements take on more and more importance. In Ecuador, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico or Colombie they are opposed to the neoliberal system that governs the Americas, while protesting against the imposition of the American economic market. . ...more.

This report was posted on April 20, 2013.