Alta Montaña

The Alta Montaña movement consists of more than 55 small peasant communities in the mountainous region of the Montes de María. The region is rich in natural resources, beautiful landmarks, and strong communities, but is severely lacking in basic infrastructure and government programs.  Inhabitants tend to be small-scale farmers (campesinos) of indigenous and Afro-Colombian origin. These communities have suffered loss of loved ones, homes, crops, and livelihoods at the hands of both legal and illegal armed actors in the region, were forcibly displaced by violence and have since returned, unaccompanied, to their land. After decades of broken relationships and lack of trust in the social fabric due to the violence and damage done them, in 2012 they began their own process of reconciliation and unification. Currently, they are realizing a collective movement to demand their right to holistic, transformative reparations under Colombian law, as well as a solution to the regional loss of the primary crop, avocado, to disease. In April of 2013, these communities started a march to the departmental/provincial capital, Cartagena, to protest the lack of government engagement in their region. Authorities met the marchers en route and opened dialogue with community leaders. With Sembrandopaz at their side, the communities are still pushing this process today.