Colombian Peace Community Attacked

A founder of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó in Colombia has been killed, along with seven others, in the latest attack on villages that have declared themselves peace zones.

Luis Eduardo Guerra, his son Deiner, his partner Deyanira Areiza, and another person were detained near the Mulatos River on February 21 by uniformed soldiers who identified themselves as belonging to the Army's 11th Brigade. They were then taken to a nearby farm; neither they nor the farm's five residents were seen alive again.

Since its creation eight years ago, the Community of San José has lost at least 130 members to murder and disappearances: 20 by the left-wing FARC and the rest by the army and/or right-wing paramilitaries. The government -- instead of carrying out a thorough investigation into such violence -- refuses to acknowledge the Com-munity's commitment to demilitarization and rejection of all armed force, but rather insists on treating the Peace Community as collaborators with the FARC guerrillas.

The February killings appear to have been a deliberate attempt to prevent the creation of a network of peace zones in neighboring villages.

Sources: Fellowship of Re-conciliation and War Resis-ters' International

Candidates emerging for top UN job

With two years to go before Kofi Annan's second five-year term as Secretary-General comes to an end (December 31, 2006), there are already candidates throwing their hats into the ring. The first was Thailand's Foreign Minister Surakiart Sathirathai, who was nominated by the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The second is Jayantha Dhanapala of Sri Lanka, who was nominated by his government. Mr. Dhanapala is better known; he was an ambassador to Washington and UN Under-Secretary-General for Dis-armament.

Source: Disarmament Times,

Three reports feed into UN Reform Effort

Three major studies have set the scene for UN reform in 2005, the 60th anniversary of the organization. One is the "Cardoso Panel" report on UN links with civil society. The second is the report of the High Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change. The third is an expert study done under the supervision of economist Jeffrey Sachs on how to attain the Millennium Develop-ment Goals. In March, the Secretary-General is expected to report on actual progress towards the Millen-nium Development Goals. Consultations among member States will begin early in 2005, with a view to providing the 60th anniversary General Assembly summit in September with a useful text.

Source: Disarmament Times,

Nader starts an anti-war blog

Ralph Nader will be one of of three people authoring a blog on Democracy Rising focused on their "Stop the War" campaign.

In addition, Kevin Zeese, a director of DR, authors a blog, the first one focusing on Iraq being worse off two years after the war. And Virginia Rodino, another organizer of DR and a member of the steering committee of United for Peace and Justice, authors a blog focused on the strategy and tactics of the anti-war movement.

Nader is a consumer advocate who has worked on a wide range of issues including civic skills, environmentalism, control of corporations, and election reform. He has worked against the Iraq War since 2002. At press time he had posted an article, "Restarting the Anti-War Movement," in which he reminds activists that during the Vietnam War, "anti-war activists did not take breaks during election years." He adds:

"The anti-Iraq war movement showed its power before the war, putting millions of people in the streets. We were years ahead of the... anti-war movement of the Vietnam War. Now that the Iraq war and occupation have unfolded, all of the predictions of the anti-war movement have come true.... But yet, the anti-war movement, with few exceptions, chose not to have a demanding impact on the presidential election and John Kerry."

Nader criticizes the anti-war movement for their silence, giving both major parties "a free ride for their support of a war that makes us less secure" and allowing them "to avoid criticism for their support of the war based on false information."

Nader says if the peace movement had continued to work during the election year, "Iraqis would be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, when they...get their country and economy back, rather than the darkness of continued occupation."

Source: Democracy Rising, www.DemocracyRising.US

Peace Magazine Apr-Jun 2005

Peace Magazine Apr-Jun 2005, page 31. Some rights reserved.

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