(Translated by David Van Den Brandt, a CSN Volunteer Translator, edited by Cecilia Zárate-Laun)
Source: Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartadó
Upon completing 17 years of existence, our Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartadó would like to send a sincere and profound thanks and appreciation to all of the communities, groups, organizations and people that, from distant countries and many regions of Colombia, have accompanied us with their solidarity, moral strength, resistance, and hope.
We commemorated the moment when we made the decision to be a community of peace and proclaimed it publically, bringing to the forefront of our memory all of those who gave their lives in this process.
An inspired group of people from our Community marched toward the city of Apartadó carrying a coffin five meters long on which the names of more than 260 of our brothers and sisters were written. Their lives were destroyed by the criminal Colombian State, and in the majority of cases, with atrocious cruelty. The population of Apartadó came in silence to look at the immense memorial full of names that evoked the crimes against humanity the state has committed. Several flower wreaths and other flowered offerings that accompanied ribbons with the names and photographs of our victims completed the demonstration. We thank those who gave their lives so our resistance struggle can continue.
A significant delegation from the Guardia Indígena del Cauca (Indigenous Police Department of Cauca) accompanied us along with other indigenous and peasant delegations that after began to participate in a new session at the University of Resistance.
The march through the streets of Apartadó concluded at the building where La Fiscalía (District Attorney) operates. There we left the coffin with the names of the victims as a testimony of our protest against the absolute impunity that covers these murders and that shows that we are a state without justice, where “justice” exhibits the most terrifying levels of corruption and becomes complicit in the incessant increase of crimes against humanity.
With this memory, and from the bottom of our hearts, we send our gratitude to all those who continue to sustain us with their moral strength. We again express to everyone our decision to continue—without backing down—on the path of resistance and in the search for an alternative and new world, a world more authentically human.
Comunidad de Paz de San José de Apartadó (Peace Community of San José de Apartadó)
March 24, 2014
To see the gallery of photos from the anniversary, visit: http://fotos.cdpsanjose.org/main.php?g2_itemId=1196
(This translation may be reprinted as long as its content remains unaltered and the source, author and translator are cited.)