what is it about?

What is it about?

Purpose:

Dignify the modo de vida of former FARC combatants.

  • We seek to improve the life standards of those who are part of "Ni Nobles Ni Villanos".
  • Once this first objective is met, the community of San José de León will be the main beneficiary according to the collective dynamics that persist among the people that comprise it. 
    • The community responds to a system of cooperation inherited from years of coexistence in the middle of the war in which ties of friendship, camaraderie and family were created. This project aims to cultivate, but not break, this cooperative system.

How?

The money collected through your contribution will be used for this purpose. 

  • Important: Every action to be carried out will be in accordance with the needs of both the people, their families and the community, taking into account their will, reality and own dynamics. 
  • All actions to be carried out will be published by this means.

How to contribute?

 

With your voluntary contributions

 

history

The most beautiful stories are born when the calculated paths do not turn out according to the proposed equation. This is how Abibe was born, without calculation nor following a standardized way to be or not to be. In March 2020, while I longed for the publication of the stories, which make up “Neither Nobles nor Villains”, that virus that we all know appeased anxiety and came to invite us to take a course more in line with the objective of this project. 

Abibe is an idea that was born after having shared for two years with the community of former members of the 58th Front of the FARC-EP located in the village of San José de León in the municipality of Mutatá, Antioquia.  

See column about this community at the beginning of this adventure:

During this period, the community opened its doors to allow third observers to learn about the meaning of “reincorporation” after spending years, perhaps decades, being an active part of the hostilities in the Colombian armed conflict. This sharing resulted in the writing of "Neither nobles nor villains" and the origin of a friendship. In this work the lives of 17 people who, with various incentives, were part of FARC guerrillas and who today cling to the idea of ​​a possible transformation, without the need for the mediation of armed violence.

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James Meernik

As Director of the Castleberry Peace Institute at the University of North Texas I am very pleased and honored to support the publication of Laura Baron Mendoza’s book, «Ni Nobles, Ni Villanos».The Castleberry Peace Institute is dedicated to supporting research and education about human security and peacebuilding, and providing support to community peacebuilding projects. It is my hope that this book can help educate, enlighten and even entertain the reader with its stories of the fascinating individuals who have made the transition from taking up arms to advance their cause, to putting down roots in their new communities to build a new life. 

Too often as we try to understand what works best when communities try to build peace in the aftermath of violence, we lose sight of the individual. But every example of peacebuilding is the story of individuals who are trying to make a change. The stories of individuals are what drew me to Laura’s book. We see these individuals for the humans they are—working, living and playing in their communities. We do not see them just as men and women who fought in the jungles of Colombia for the FARC, but as real people now working in difficult circumstances. No matter how different their lives may seem to us, we can all relate to their human emotions and desire to lead a healthy and productive life.

“Ni Nobles, Ni Villanos” gives us a window into these lives so that we can better understand why people took up arms in the past, but most importantly, how they are building peace in the present. As an educator I wish students, the community and our leaders to know these stories. We do not have to agree with the choices people make in their lives, but if we want peacebuilding to work, we should read these stories. Without an appreciation for the challenges facing individuals, peacebuilding will not work. With an understanding and appreciation for this human element, we can lay down a strong foundation for peace that can weather the inevitable storms.

I am so very pleased that the Castleberry Peace Institute supports this wonderful and fascinating book that opens up a whole new world.

James Meernik

Director

Castleberry Peace Institute

University of North Texas

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