Community is the change

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Words by Eduar Lanchero, visionary and supporter of the peace community San José de Apartado in Colombia, who died in 2012.

Eduar Lanchero: “What is the strength of the community?
The state and the paramilitaries say: “We have done everything to them and we could not destroy them.” And they wonder: “What else can we do?”
This is the blindness of those who are murderers. They are unable to see that they can do to us whatever they want, but as long as pain turns into hope, there will always be community. Community cannot be destroyed. And what is hope? Hope is when we no longer hate the murderer. Hope is when we build a new world – collectively. When we make a new life a reality, today, right at the place where we are.
14 years ago, we talked about changing the world. Today we can say that we have changed the world because we created a community and stayed together as a community.
It is our challenge to become new men and women and to create real alternatives in which the future is not the future we have been taught, but one that is in our hearts and is created by all of us.
Even if the resistance is getting weaker and many people get tired, it is up to all of us to help each other to carry on, to walk together through difficulties. This is the main message. It doesn’t matter how many we are. What matters is that we really know and deeply live a different world. And we cannot build this different world tomorrow. We do it now!”

In the Colombian conflict region in the northern province of Urabá the peace village San José de Apartado with 1350 inhabitants fights non-violently for its survival. Since its foundation on March 23rd 1997 ,more than 200 farmers, men, women and children have been murdered some of them very brutally.

On February 21-22, 2005, eight members of the San Jose de Apartado Peace Community in Uraba, Colombia – including three young children, were  massacred.

But the inhabitants of the peace community do not give up, to the contrary: they build up a future model for an autonomous and peaceful life, a seed of hope for Colombia in a region which is heavily fought for military, police, paramilitary and guerrilla groups. They need international protection. Please support by spreading the word!

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