It's been a hectic couple of weeks and blogging, once again, got away from me. We've been fairly preoccupied with a crisis involving one of our partner organizations on the Caribbean Coast (these photos are all from my visit there last November). In nutshell, a community leader and organizer who has worked for decades to promote non-violent social change is under threat, and another has been imprisoned.
I remember as a young(er) person, staying with my Grandma Beth in NY, and seeing her at her desk late at night writing letters for Amnesty International. As a budding social activist type I remember feeling so impressed and so proud of her. Now I feel grateful - to her and to the many people who take time for this kind of action. It might not seem like it makes much of a difference, but it can - the difference between life and death.
I won't try to explain the whole story here - in fact, there are aspects of the story that cannot at this time be made public because to do so would put people's lives in further danger. I've been spending most of my work time in the past 10 days working with an amazing network of people (who understand much more than I do about the situation and about international advocacy processes) to discern what exactly can and should be said, and to whom, and via what means, under a strong sense of urgency to have it all done three days ago.
So here are some good things to read:
- The MCC Action Alert which has a clear and concise telling of the story (the two young women named at the end are part of our team here).
- The Amnesty International alert
- A personal first-hand account from one of our MCCers, Anna (you should follow her blog, actually - it's awesome on a regular basis!)
It's been incredibly humbling and moving to see the responses beginning to flood in. Like over 1500 signatures collected online already. Ricardo is a dearly beloved and greatly respected in peacebuilding circles around the world. And in Colombia.