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| 4/20/2009 12:00:00 AM

San José de Apartado: Colombian Peace Community Stands Up for Humanity

Apr 20 -- A dirt road leaves the city of Apartado, in the region of Urabá, in the Northwestern Colombian province of Antioquia, making its way up into the mountains.

The surrounding land hosts banana plantations as far as the eye can see, owned by subsidiaries of the Chiquita, Del Monte and Bonita brands, as well as plantations of African Palm, which have recently made their way as a lucrative cash crops. The road enters a deep emerald forest, crossing small villages with wooden houses, farm animals roaming in the mud and heavily guarded military check points.

Urabá has been major theater in Colombia’s forty years long and ongoing armed conflict. All armed actors are present in the region: the Colombian army, left-wing guerillas and, since the mid 1990s, ultra-right wing paramilitaries. The arm carriers are not only fighting for these fertile lands, but also for the control of this strategic corridor to Panama and the Pacific region of Chocó, indispensable to international drug traffic. Stuck in the middle, thousands of civilians have been killed, disappeared and displaced, stripped of their lands, accused of or forced into collaboration with one or another group. In this sea of violence however, there is an attempt to create an island of calm.
 
Read more here.
 
Semana International delivers news about Colombia in English. Find more in our home.
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EDICIÓN 1829

PORTADA

Gran encuesta presidencial

Vargas Lleras arranca fuerte, Petro está estancado, Fajardo tiene cómo crecer y los partidos tradicionales andan rezagados. Entre los uribistas, Ramos se ve fuerte. Y Santos tiene 35 por ciento de aceptación. Gran encuesta de Invamer para Caracol Televisión, Blu Radio y SEMANA.