Carlos Morales is a Human rights defender in the Corporación Acción Humanitaria por la Paz y la Convivencia en el Norte Santioqueño (CAHUPACANA) Colombia. More than three hundred family farmers from Northeastern Antioquia decided in 2004 to create the organisation. It was born in the midst of a humanitarian crisis due to the economic blockades and confinement imposed by legal and illegal armed actors, and the humanitarian actions to raise awareness about the situation and search for responses, which were organised by the farmers and which Cahucopana also took part in.
Its main mission is to report on the humanitarian crisis and generate spaces for training in how to defend and promote the human rights of small-scale farmers. Cahucopana develops activities for communities to strengthen their organisational abilities, supports the Community Action Boards (JACCs), trains and builds capacities of leaders and communities on human rights and international humanitarian law, and denounce human rights violations by all the armed actors and private companies.
"We believe that dialogue with armed, illegal and legal groups is a method that has helped us save lives and prevent the displacement of people." Carlos Morales
The Corporation has taken on an important leadership role in the region, and represents the power of the communities’ resistance to so many years of violence. Its work benefits around 500 people, and 2,000 additional people who live in the communities where they carry out their activities.
"The direct dialogue methods that we have used have helped communities to start to exercise and demand respect for their lives. To overcome fear." Carlos Morales
"Now, it’s really difficult for the armed groups to come and take people from the communities to kill them. They don’t do it anymore." Carlos Morales
"This year has been difficult for is because despite the peace deal, every day we are being killed" Carlos Morales