Colombia's Churches Cry Out for Accompaniment

By Janna Hunter-Bowman 09-22-2009

"If [state officials and the paramilitary groups] knew what we were telling you, we would be riddled with bullets as soon as we walked out that door."

"If any of us reports on paramilitary and State Forces collusion we are dead. So who protects us?"

"We are telling you because we trust you, and because the international church needs to know."

-- Statements of pastors and leaders from Córdoba, Colombia

Messages titled "more pleas for accompaniment!" have been filling my e-mail inbox in recent weeks. Church leadeaders, internally displaced leaders, and land rights community leaders are under attack in the northwest department of Córdoba where a territorial dispute between rearmed paramilitary groups is raging. Communities are terrified. Said one community member, "In our 37 years of political violence, it's never been this bad

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