CSN’s National Meeting Program

Co-Sponsors, Members, and Friends,


Please find a copy of the Program and time-line for the upcoming National Meeting. We thank you again for your generous support, your interest in our organization, and most importantly your willingness to help the vulnerable people of Colombia. We look forward to seeing you in a few weeks.


Colombia Support Network


Colombia Support Network National Conference

June 3-4, 2016

Edgewood College

Sonderegger Hall, Room 104

Madison, Wisconsin


Friday, June 3 

8:00 a.m. -9:00 a.m.       Breakfast at Regina Hall Dining Room

Morning and Afternoon Programs at Sonderegger Hall, Room 104. 

9:00 a.m.-9:15 a.m.        Welcome, Introductions, Presentation of CSN Interns, and Review of Program (Jack Laun).

9:15 a.m.-10:30 a.m.      Presentation by Carmenza Tez of the Kamentsa indigenous community of the Sibundoy Valley, Putumayo Department, Colombia: “The Kamentsa community’s historical struggle for territory; different challenges and responses.”

10:30-10:45 a.m.             Coffee Break 

10:45 a.m.-12:00 noon  Carmenza Tez presentation continues: “The Kamentsas’ cultural response to threats to their territory.” Discussion of response to threats to the Kamentsa and Inga communities of the Sibundoy Valley presented by multinational mining interests and the San Francisco-Mocoa variante highway.

12:00 noon-1 p.m.          Lunch at Regina Hall

1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.        Presentation by Conrad Weiffenbach and Hope Hague on the April CSN delegation to the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado; report on the status of the Peace Community and concerns for the future.

2:00 p.m.-2:45 p.m.        Discussion of the transitional justice system and prospects for peace through the Peace Agreement between the FARC guerrillas and the Colombian government. (Eunice Gibson, Carlos Arenas).

2:45 p.m.-3:00 p.m.        Break   

3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.        Discussion of the Colombian military’s activities and U.S. government’s military aid to Colombia—the “false positives” scandal and our delegation’s meeting with Mothers of Soacha and the growth of the riot police (ESMAD) (Eunice Gibson, Conrad Weiffenbach)

4:00 p.m.-4:45 p.m.        The search for truth behind the April 9, 1948 assassination of Liberal Party chief Jorge Eliecer Gaitan and the murder of Father Restrepo of Marmato: A review of history as a part of the basis for peace. (Jack Laun, Steve Bray)

4:45 p.m.-5:45 p.m.          Paramilitary violence and prosecutions of paramilitary leaders such as Santiago Uribe Velez; Can Colombia’s courts effectively address this issue? (Eunice Gibson, Jack Laun)

5:45 p.m.-6:45 p.m.        Dinner at Regina Hall

7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.        Keynote Address by Carmenza Tez: “Construction of the Trans-Amazon Highway and Mining Development: Threats to the Amazon Region and the Planet Itself”. (Al Gedicks, David Kast and Steve Bray, commentators). Sonderegger Hall, Room 108.


Saturday, June 4 

8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.          Breakfast at Regina Hall

Morning and Afternoon Programs at Sonderegger Hall, Room 104. 

9:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.      Workers’ rights in Colombia: The gap between law and practice. Presentation by Paige Shell-Spurling, Coordinator of the Colombia Section of the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC).

10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m.    Free Trade Agreements’ effect; the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other proposed trade agreements; the virtual noncompliance with the Colombia-U.S. Labor Action Plan. Presentation by David Newby, President Emeritus of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO and President of the Fair Trade Coalition of Wisconsin.

10:45 a.m.-11:00 a.m.    Break   

11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon. Presentation by Professor Al Gedicks on multinational mining companies and threats to natural resources in Colombia and elsewhere in Latin America

12:00 noon-1:00 p.m.    Lunch at Regina Hall

1:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.        Competing models of development in Colombia: Zonas de Reserva Campesina vs. ZIDRES and the National Development Plan. What direction will land reform take? Return of lands to the dispossessed? (Eunice Gibson, Carlos Arenas, Jack Laun).

2:30 p.m.-2:45 p.m.        Break 

2:45 p.m.-3:30 p.m.        Discussion of plans for collaboration with sister communities and setting of goals for the next year; discussion of local outreach plans by CSN Board Outreach Coordinator Craig Wehrle and student intern’s members of the University of Wisconsin Badgers CSN Chapter.

3:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m.        Business Meeting:

  1. Deciding on program initiatives for the coming year
  2. Review of financial records
  3. Election of Board Members and Officers

5:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.        Comments and suggestions by Conference participants

6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.        Cookout and discussion at CSN office and garden at Bellevue Apartments building, 29 East Wilson Street, Suite 202, Madison.

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