PBI-Colombia accompanies Justice and Peace Commission in humanitarian zones in Jiguamiandó Basin

Published by Brent Patterson on

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On September 15, the Peace Brigades International-Colombia Project posted: “Today we accompany @Justiciaypazcol [Justice and Peace Commission] in pedagogical workshops on the topic of the global community agreement in the humanitarian zones of Nueva Esperanza and Pueblo Nuevo in the Jiguamiandó Basin.”

The World Council of Churches has previously explained:

Since 1999, some of the displaced people in Curvaradó and neighbouring Jiguamiandó have tried to return to their homes with the support of non-governmental organizations, including the Inter-Church Justice and Peace Commission.

In 2001, a military and paramilitary attack caused new displacements. This exodus coincided with the introduction of African oil palm plantations on the evicted communities’ land.

In 2002 and again in 2003, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) called for the right to life of the members of the Curvaradó and Jiguamiandó communities to be protected.

Starting in 2003, the humanitarian zones of Pueblo Nuevo (90 families), Nueva Esperanza (47 families) and Bella Flor (30 families) were created in Jiguamiandó.

The humanitarian zones are clearly demarcated areas inhabited by the civilian population where armed forces of any kind are not supposed to enter.

In the zones, groups of families help each other to protect themselves against militarization while at the same time defending their rights.

Since March 2005, these zones have the backing of the IACHR, which has required the Colombian government to grant them special protection.

In September 2020, PBI-Colombia posted this article about their visit to the Nueva Esperanza Humanitarian Zone.

That article noted that in July 2020 the local indigenous government of the Uradá-Jiguamiandó Reserve decided to eradicate the coca leaf planted by people from outside their territory, people who ignored the Major Indigenous Council’s authority.

It highlighted: “In an action to heal their territory, the communities have eradicated close to 150 hectares of coca leaf, which has made things very risky for them.”

PBI-Colombia has accompanied the Justice and Peace Commission since 1994.

Also, on August 23, PBI-Colombia tweeted: “Last week we accompanied the Bajo Atrato team from @Justiciaypazcol in the indigenous communities of Jiguamiando.”

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