“We can live without gold, without water we will die.”
“The Pueblo Creyente is aware.”
On December 6, 2009, the “Pueblo Creyente” (Community of Faith) held a pilgrimage to “express [their] feelings in favor of life, respecting the rights of organizations in order to develop out communities together.” Eight hundred fifty individuals—most of them belonging to the San Bartolomé Apóstol parish in Venustiano Carranza, Chiapas—made the two hour pilgrimage to the church at Venustiano Carranza singing and denouncing the mining companies as well as the lies and abuses of power surrounding the current situation.
In November, the Mexican national daily La Jornada had made public pieces of the report published by the State Attorney General’s Office titled, “The Prevailing Situation in the Municipality of Venustiano Carranza.” The report is an intent on documenting the existence of a “subversive network” that is supposedly planning destabilizing acts for the year 2010 and whose focal point is said to be Jesús Landín, a catholic priest in Venustiano Carranza. The report also appears to have “justified” the harassment denounced in recent months by the diocese and other social activists.
In late November, several priests and members of religious orders from the Southern Zone made a public declaration stating: “Instead of slander, harassment and persecution, we hope that the governor will join the people in defending the holy land of Chiapas, lungs of the nation, and serve as an example of respect for the rights that are clearly delineated in the constitution and that defend the treaties signed by Mexico before the international community.” In the communiqué distributed during the recent pilgrimage, the Pueblo Creyente also clarified: “Our role as the Church is to promote and defend life, a life with justice and dignity in order to realize peace in our communities and not to create acts that provoke instability and more suffering for the community.”
After the pilgrimage—in a church so full of people that many were seated on the floor—the parish priest Jesús Landín gave mass and called for unity in “these violent times.” In a prayer, a sister asked God to “[liberate them] from the abuses of power, from the companies that destroy nature, […] and that [they be granted] peace, peace and justice.” “Padre Chuy,” who has received all types of threats in the past months, ended by thanking the people for the show of solidarity and care received by the parish workers.
A representative of the Pueblo Creyente from the parish in Chicomuselo came in solidarity with the message of the pilgrimage and invited all of those present to Chicomuselo on Dec. 22.
For More Information (in Spanish):
Comunicado de la Peregrinación del Pueblo Creyente (6/12/2009)
Declaración de los sacerdotes y religiosas de la zona Sur de la diocesis de San Cristobal (noviembre 2009)
Católicos se solidarizan con sacerdote Landín (artículo del Cuarto Poder, 7/12/2009)
Marchan en Carranza en apoyo a sacerdote “acechado” por el gobierno (artículo del blog “Observatorio CIudadano” 6/12/2009)
Peregrinaciones y misas en apoyo a Jesús Landín (artículo de La Jornada 7/12/09)
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Journey of the “Community of faith”: Reflection and Action on a Changing Reality