Kolumbien: Ana Teresa Bernal

Peace is not a Colombian invention. It is a flag of all humanity.

— Ana Teresa Bernal

When Ana Teresa Bernal was an adolescent, she distributed food to children living on the streets. As a young woman, she continued her social work and created a movement called Life. Later, as a woman, she founded Redepaz, the National Network of Citizen Initiatives against War. Her personal fight is against war. She dreams of a Colombia at peace. She has been working, day after day, for more than two decades to achieve this. “I believe that this is our country and that we have to defend life.”

Ana Teresa Bernal's voice does not cry out in the wilderness. It is not heard in vain. Her voice was noticed for the first time in 1986, when she created a movement called Life. Later on, her voice was heard even more loudly when she founded Redepaz, the National Network of Citizen Initiatives against War. “It was formed in 1993 as the citizens' answer to the president of Colombia at that time, César Gaviria. He proposed what was called an integral war. We said that what the country needed was integral peace.” And Ana Teresa Bernal went more over when, in 1996, Redepaz organized what became known as the Mandato Ciudadano por la Paz (Mandate against Violence). They asked boys and girls from more than a hundred municipalities all over Colombia to choose, from 12 fundamental rights, the one they considered to be the most important. Then, 2.7 million children voted for the right to peace. Their voices were heard all over the country. One year later, Redepaz organized a new vote when more than ten million adult Colombians called for the same thing.

Red Nacional de Iniciativas por la Paz y contra la Guerra (Redepaz)