The complexity of territories such as Catatumbo, full of spectacular landscapes and battered by decades of conflict, has led us to seek new models to contribute to sustainable territorial development over time and resilient to the different adversities encountered along the way. Thus, the Catatumbo Peace Network, a social fabric that promotes the construction of peace through productive projects of various kinds, arises from the meeting of ex-combatants and campesinos (rural farmers) through collaborative work and who have learned the advantages of taking an environmental approach.
In addition, through a culture of dialogue, reconciliation and peace, they seek agreements which allow for socio-economic development in the region, as well as a strengthening of local response mechanisms to violence.
Currently, the Network consists of 8 associations consisting of people in the process of reincorporation in Norte de Santander, 1 association made up of people in the process of substitution of illicit crops and 1 association in the process of being constituted.
In order to energize connections from the local to the regional level, the Peace Network has been divided into nodes according to geography and the projects prioritized by the participating organizations.
Biofactories, key meeting and exchange points
The participants of the Catatumbo Peace Network have leveraged the different benefits offered by a productive space such as biofactories, where they produce handmade animal feed and biofertilizers to market locally. In these spaces, they use local crops as raw materials, including agricultural by-products (which are normally discarded), crops from the established orchards and some elements of the local forest. Thanks to collective work and training sessions, they have specialized in the production of such products, which they sell to members of the network and other farmer families, who benefit from lower prices and environmentally friendly products.
By strengthening these collaborative production dynamics, biofactories have been key to the integration of the network in these short commercialization circuits. They have also become spaces for meetings, work and knowledge exchange.
KEY CONCEPTS DEVELOPED BY THE CATATUMBO PEACE NETWORK
Peace nodes in the Catatumbo region
Currently, the Catatumbo Peace Network has 3 nodes that integrate cooperatives of ex-combatants, campesino families and former coca growers.
- Node 1: Cúcuta, focused on a communication and articulation project with the Catatumbo cooperatives for the commercialization of their different products.
- Node 2: Consisting of 3 associations located in the municipality of Tibú.
- Node 3: Consisting of 3 associations located in the municipalities of San Calixto, Teorama and El Tarra.