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TitleJoan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Hosts Forum to Address Violence in Colombia
Date10.20.08
ContactDenise Ward
Contact E-mailwardd, at sandiego.edu
Contact Phone(619) 260-4659, ext. 6994
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The Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) will host “The Challenge of Nonviolence: Forming Alliances to Address Violent Conflict in Colombia” as part of their Daylight Series and the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Peace for Colombia Speaking Tour from 12:30-2 p.m. in Conference Rooms C/D.  

Marta Ines Romero, CRS country manager for Colombia, will discuss the challenge of and the need for nonviolence; effective ways of dealing with the conflict; how CRS collaborates with others to address conflict and build relationships; and forming alliances (especially ecumenical alliances) to address violent conflict. 

According to CRS reports, more than three million Colombians are forced to flee their homes because of violence and threats by right-wing paramilitary forces, left-wing guerilla forces and the resulting conflict with Colombia's army.  Colombia is facing one the greatest humanitarian crises in the world, according to CRS.  Forty years of violence and conflict have created an internally displaced population in Colombia second only to Sudan’s.  Displaced persons in Colombia are becoming poorer by the day and lack the most basic of necessities.  In fact, two thirds of the internally displaced population lives in inadequate housing. 
 
CRS provides emergency supplies, food and psychosocial support for six months to those caught in the crossfire.  However, their assistance will not address the systematic problems of extreme inequality and political exclusion that fuel Colombia’s enduring conflict.  Currently, the U.S. has provided more than $4.5 billion in aid to Colombia over the past seven years, but 80 percent of that aid goes to the military.  CRS and Colombian and U.S. bishops conferences have called for the U.S. to shift the focus of their aid to be dedicated to investment in sustainable development, the defense of human rights and humanitarian support that has as its first priority long-term solutions for the many refugees of Colombia.

The Daylight Series event is free and open to the public.  No RSVP is needed, and attendees are free to bring a light lunch; light refreshments will be provided.  For more information, go to http://peace.sandiego.edu.

About The University of San Diego

The University of San Diego, a Catholic Institution of higher learning chartered in 1949. The university enrolls approximately 7,500 undergraduate and graduate students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service. The inauguration this fall of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace brings the university’s total number of schools and colleges to six. Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Education, Law and Nursing and Health Science.

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