IN THE COMPANY OF FEAR
COLOMBIA IS NOTORIOUS for its politics of fear. In The Company of Fear explores the power of non-violent resistance to oppose state terror, through the work of “Protective Accompaniment”. This is a strategy whereby foreign volunteers offer human rights activists the un-armed protection of an international presence. The theory is that countries that kill their own people don’t want the world to know about it. In quest for the roots of violence the film examines the international community’s role in generating and deterring terror.
From the film: “San Pablo is a town controlled by the guerrillas, but the paramilitaries are moving in. Just before we arrived, four activists were abducted in a paramilitary roadblock. They turned up the next day, arms, legs and heads cut off by chainsaws. Marco Tulio is the lone, local human rights activist. Marco is under serious threat now, and Peace Brigades volunteers stay with him several times a week – to show the “paras” the outside world is watching.
The film features respected political analyst Noam Chomsky who in the film states, “The objectives of state terror are to make people lose hope.” Chomsky further explains that, “If you oppose these conditions and work to change them you’re not going to have a death squad come and kill you at night as you would if you lived in Colombia.”
With just over a decade of implementation, Protective Accompaniment has proved to be an effective non-violent tactic in the prevention of human rights abuses around the world. In The Company of Fear is a compelling and cinematic film capturing the courage of those working towards a new paradigm in human rights protection. It offers hope that as civilians we have the power to effectively shape world history.