Truth for Mario Paciolla

Mario Paciolla was a young man whom we knew since he was involved in the Peace Brigades International’s Project in Colombia until 2018 and then in the United Nations Verification Mission in Caquetà, Colombia.
On July 15th, he was found dead in his apartment in circumstances yet to be clarified, even though it was initially stated as a suicide. Mario had a ticket to come back to Naples on July 20th and, for more than a week, he kept on saying to his mother that something really worried him. He was afraid and he wanted to return to Italy.
He was a sociable, committed, loved young man and, above all, a lover of truth and justice. Whatever happened we want to ask for an independent investigation which clarifies the facts. This is why we invite you to subscribe to the truth-seeking request promoted by the Rete Accademica Europea per la Pace in Colombia (Europaz):  https://www.europaz.org/verita-per-mario-paciolla/

Sowing remedies

A few days ago I spoke to A., a 6 year old girl from the Peace Community.
Her mother had warned me: A. wants to tell you what she is doing, how she is doing, the small and large achievements of the children of her age.
Now A. speaks very well so that understanding each other is simple.
Some time ago the dialogue would have been a little more complex.
So she begins her story by talking to me about the school, the arrival of the rainy season, the family, the mare, the mules.
She shows me how much she has grown (she is marking her height on the wooden part of the house) and her mother, there with her, points out that her temper has also started to grow.
We both smile.
Then she starts talking about plants, flowers, field crops, yuca, ñampi (a tuber similar to yuca), rice, plantain, bananas, beans, fruit plants: papaya, pineapple, coconut.

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Red drapes

During this quarantine, we have all been going through a difficult time of worries and concerns about our families and our future in the workplace and in the social sphere. Many people went into mourning for the loss of one of their loved ones, robbing many families of the chance to say a final goodbye. It is very painful to find out this powerlessness for ourselves when dignity, affections and economic security are being taken away from us. We felt close to each other, empathic and heroic because everyone had had the same fate. Or, as Pope Francis put it, ‘in the middle of the storm, we are all on the same boat’.
Yet we are very much aware that in our country boats are not all the same: some people are going through all this on a raft. This is why those who could tried to help people living with great difficulties during the quarantine. At the same time we are aware of what this additional huge burden has caused in areas where people were already experiencing precariousness, violence, war, injustice, and hunger. Yet no one has been hearing anything from them.

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Paths of Remembrance

"Hacer memoria es un compromiso por el futuro".
(Remembering is a commitment for future)

This sentence can accurately sum up the intense days we lived among the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó, Colombia, during the commemoration of the killings of Mulatos and Resbalosa, which took place on February 21st, 2005. Since then, the Community gathers every year to engage in an active and vivid remembrance, so fundamentally essential for their nonviolent resistance.
From the very first hours of the early morning in La Holandita, on February 19th, one could already hear some voices attending the preparations of the first of four days dedicated to hacer memoria of Luis Eduardo, Bellanira, Deiner, Alfonso, Sandra, Santiago, Natalia and Alejandro. Luis Eduardo’s son, Sebastián, who was two years old at the time of the killings, climbs up the Community’s main gate to hang up, with extreme care, a banner reading: “WE RESIST FOR LIFE, FIGHT FOR JUSTICE AND WALK FOR DIGNITY”.

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Guardians of creation

“Called by name and as a people, we walk together careful to the last of history, to the bloodiest parts of creation"

Together with another volunteer, today we accompanied a man to do his job in the field: picking up cocoa pod, the fruit of the cocoa tree.
Once the pods were opened, the man going extracted the beans, which he then stored to be able to sow them, thus creating new cocoa seedlings, which will bear new fruit within three years.
This man is a humble peasant.
What he desires is simply to be free to work his land and live his life happily in his Country, Colombia.
This man has been repeatedly threatened with death.
An international presence is therefore necessary to guarantee him the security of not being killed during his work in the fields or his movements.
His life, like the life of the others men, women, old people and children who make up the "Comunidad de Paz" of San José de Apartadó, are threatened.

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