The Christian Centre for Justice, Peace and Nonviolent Action (Justapaz) seeks to embody and serve non-violence through programs working towards transforming Colombia into a just and peaceful state.
Since its establishment in 1990, Justapaz has worked to promote non-violence, peace-building and the positive transformation of conflict. It has developed a broad range of initiatives in training, organization and action for conflict transformation at local, regional, national, and international levels.
Its organizational arrangement actively promotes the formation of a non-hierarchical organization and the deep involvement of Colombia’s affected communities in the way the organization is run.
Justapaz, which means ‘a just peace’, was created by the Colombian Mennonite Church in response to violence and injustice across Colombia. It was, and continues to be, a necessary religious response from the Mennonites, as the Church itself is based on values established during sixteenth-century peaceful and egalitarian social movements.
Remaining true to its non-violent and organizational objectives, Justapaz focuses on the practical training of like-minded churches, communities and individuals in the practice of non-violence. It seeks to enable the creation of structures and ways of life that it believes can ultimately lead to real peace in Colombia.
Justapaz carries out training programmes and workshops to combat the normalization of violence in society. It seeks to enable the peaceful mediation of conflicts existing in communities, demonstrate what psychological support can be given to victims, and facilitate the processing of legal cases.
The projects carried out by Justapaz are grouped into the following areas:
- Collaboration with churches and organizations
- Political advocacy
- Technical and administrative services