Pablo and his community in La Loma, Colombia earn their livings by growing crops, and fishing but they have been forced from their land by armed conflict and multinational companies. They have formed a community council COCOLATU and are fighting to get their land back and expose human right violations. Could you send a message to one of “The Brave?”
Many thanks to Richard Belfrage for sharing his letter with us.
Dear Pablo and your community of La Loma,
I am writing to you from the UK as I have heard through CAFOD of your long and difficult plight to regain your land rights and freedom back from the gangs and the multinational companies who have taken it illegally over many years. It is hard to understand the pain and hardships caused to your community and it is heart breaking. Losing your land and suffering the violence and intimidation is so, so difficult for your people to endure.
The loss of forests, farm land, fishing rights and your freedom is just terrible. The intimidation and violence you have endured over so many years in your struggles for your human rights are not acceptable in any civilised country. Your freedoms taken away leaving your communities threatened and intimidated as they go about their legitimate business of trying to make a living for their families. The poverty bought on by this land grab and the injustices your people experience every day is so sad and difficult for me to understand. It is unacceptable in any country.
My prayers are offered in support, sympathy and encouragement in your long struggle. I pray one day soon you will be able to live again in freedom and peace. That you can go fishing and not live in fear of intimidation of someone crossing your path and telling you not to go somewhere because something will happen to you. Above all I pray your dream of ‘passing one another along the riverbank and living in communion will become a reality’.
With my prayers, love and best wishes to you and your community.