Monthly Report - August 2021


For several months, protests against the tax reform (and not only) have continued on a regular basis in various cities of the country. The Personería of Bogotà (i.e. the supervisory body of the various territorial bodies, which is in charge of the defense and protection of Human Rights) observed and denounced irregular procedures of the ESMAD (special anti-riot forces) during the protests at the end of August.
During his visit to Colombia, Monsignor Duffé (Secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development) declared that the demonstrations were “an expression of desperation, a clear "no" to political and economic inequalities, corruption and violence against the poor, contempt for young people, workers and representatives of the civil society”.
The situation in various rural areas of the country is no less serious, because the presence of many illegal armed groups determines conditions of great vulnerability for the civilian population, forcing thousands of people to displacement.

This is what happened in mid-August in San Juan, in the Chocò region, where 1,444 people were displaced and 1,391 remained confined to their territory due to clashes between the armed groups. Despite several appeals made in recent months, the situation in San Juan has only worsened.
According to the Hall of Justice and Peace of the Superior Court of Barranquilla, the scarcity of job opportunities, combined with other factors, appears to be the main cause for which many former paramilitaries of the AUC (Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia) are being asked insistently by other armed gangs to take up arms again.
Last August 30, on the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances, celebrated in 22 countries around the world, including Italy, it was highlighted how, even today, the tragedy of the desaparecidos is still being experienced in Colombia. Colombia has 120,000 missing people, including many environmental activists, as stated by Isabel Zuleta during the debate "Environmental fights and enforced disappearance" held in Bogota. Isabel Zuleta is the leader of the Rios Vivos Movement, an organization that works in defense of the environment in Antioquia. She is under death threat due to her socio-political commitment, in particular against the construction of the controversial Hituango hydroelectric dam.


In August our volunteers were engaged in various accompaniments to guarantee the members of the Peace Community the regular performance of their different tasks, both in the city and in the rural areas.
Unfortunately, as reported in the Constancia last August 11, the situation of insecurity in the area - mainly due to the presence of the armed group of the AGC - determines a condition of strong threat to the lives of social leaders and the civilian population of the area.
We shared various activities with the Peace Community. This month the Community had gathered for a general assembly,  therefore there were plenty of relaxing moments where we could share food and games with children.
There were also joyful moments in the billiards area, which is managed by the young people of the Community who try to create opportunities to talk, discuss film and listen to the most varied music.
The group of volunteers welcomed Alessandro who decided to walk a piece of the road with the Peace Community.