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[updated 08/28/08]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Colombia Support Network
Cajibío, Colombia - Central New York
Sister Community

"Somos Uno en la Solidaridad" ~ "We are One in Solidarity"

The Colombia Support Network (CSN) is a national grassroots organization that works through sister communities to help Colombians create a peaceful, participatory democracy and an economically just society.

Program goals:
- Develop US/Colombia sister communities
- Respond to urgent alerts and other action requests from Colombian partners
- Support education and lobbying efforts with the US Congress and Administration
- Coordinate delegations to and from Sister Communities
- Educate US public about the reality in Colombia and US foreign policy towards Colombia, particularly concerning the pending Free Trade Agreement

CSN condemns violations of human rights by all actors involved in the conflict including guerrilla groups, military, paramilitary, national police, multinational corporations and foreign agents.

Colombia Support Network web site: www.colombiasupport.net.

 

Cortland, Ithaca, and Syracuse's Sister Community:
Cajibío, Colombia


Contacts:
Syracuse:
Paul Weichselbaum
315.478.1592
pweichs@juno.com

Cortland:
Colleen Kattau
607.753.2025
kattauc@cortland.edu

Ithaca:
Committee on US-Latin American Relations (CUSLAR)
604.255.7293
cuslar@cornell.edu

In 2003 the Syracuse, Cortland and Ithaca chapter of CSN established a sister community between Central New York and the Small Farmers Movement of Cajibío or Movimiento Campesino de Cajibío ( MCC). The MCC is one of many groups struggling for peace and justice in Colombia. Made up of campesinos, other local community members, indigenous people, and Afro-Colombians, Cajibío is a small municipality located in the violence-torn southwestern department of Cauca, Colombia.

The CNY/CSN chapter works in solidarity with the people of Cajibío towards their goals of:
- developing organic, sustainable agriculture
- improving family nutrition
- reclaiming traditional medicine and addressing health needs
- participation in local, regional and national arenas to defend the rights of small farmers
- training community leaders, particularly women and youth, for active democratic participation in the community
- developing a community education plan
- defending the Colombian people's sustainable access to natural resources, particularly water and land

The co-coordinators of the MCC are Marylen Serna-Salinas and John Henry Gonzalez, both of whom have visited CNY at different times.

CNY Sister Community Activities:
- Monthly meetings generally held in Cortland. Contact one of the above for times and place.
- Respond to alerts from Cajibío.
- Educational programs in our local communities about the reality of Colombia.
- Work to humanize US policy towards Colombia through lobbying our national legislators.
- Yearly delegations to Cajibío with the support of CSN.
- Raise funds to support the work of the MCC. e.g. we obtained a grant from Common Place, a land trust in Truxton, NY. The grant helped buy land for young people in Cajibío to have a community center and agricultural project. The land was purchased in 2008. We also helped fund health and leadreship conferences and the creation of a seedsharing cooperative for farm families in Cajibío.
- Frequent communications through the exchange of e-mails, phone calls, letters, and photos.
- Initiated and passed City Council Resolutions in Ithaca and Syracuse supporting the Cajibío Sister Community work.
- Hosted Marylen Serna-Salinas (2004) and John Henry Gonzalez (2005) for two-week speaking tours mostly in upstate New York.

CNY/CSN welcomes new members. Please contact one of the above named people to learn more, make a donation, join a delegation to Colombia, or to join us at our meetings.