Michael Gleich, Building Peace in War Zones, The Solutions Journal, Volume 2, Issue 4, July 2011, Pages 18-21 (https://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/article/building-peace-in-war-zones/) Abstract: Once again, Father Giovani Presiga is on the phone with a murderer. Calmly he tries to wrangle a life out of a guerrilla commander who has the blood of hundreds of people on his hands. “Let the kid go! He has no money, much less his family!” The victim is from the padre’s parish near the Colombian city of Medellín. Abductions for ransom are one of the main sources of income for both left-wing guerrillas and right-wing paramilitaries, second only to trafficking in cocaine. Usually their demands from victims’ families are far too high. The padre has all their cell phone numbers. He negotiates, haggles, pleads, and threatens—sometimes even with the wrath of God on the day of judgment. In most cases, he can bring about the victim’s release. On his initiative, several villages have declared themselves Zones of Peace. Entry with weapons is forbidden. Presiga is part of a new generation of politically involved individuals who have come of age in the last 15 years. They … Topics: Conflict Resolution