On 26 February, different organizations inspired and influenced by the work of Don Samuel Ruiz García, the bishop emeritus of San Cristóbal de Las Casas who died on 24 January in Mexico City, presented the Jtatic Samuel Jcanan Lum 2011 Award to six organizations and social processes that according to the findings of the awarding committee merited this recognition for their work and commitment to the defense of human rights and reconciliation.
Within a context marked by the recent death of Don Samuel, who was buried in the cathedral of San Cristóbal on 26 January, the Canan Lum organizing committee and the awarded honored the one that tseltal communities refer to as Jtatic (“our father”) Samuel, who in 1999 was given the charge of Jcanan Lum by tsotsil, tseltal, ch’ol, and tojolabal communities (among others). The award was meant to signify Ruiz García as caretaker of the land and the people. Don Raúl Vera, auxiliary bishop of Don Samuel in his final years in the San Cristóbal diocese and current bishop of Saltillo (Coahuila), told those present at the award ceremony that this award and charge was one of the few that held special value for Ruiz. In observation of the event was celebrated a prayer before a Mayan altar as performed by jtatic Vicente, from a tseltal community in the Lacandon jungle.
The award was presented to the Oralia Morales Committee of Human Rights, from the Comalapa Border; Junax Ayotic ta Atel-Chich Center, from the municipality of Chilón; the Coordination of Indigenous Social Organization XI’NICH, with headquarters in Palenque; Doña Regina López Sánchez, coordinator of women and rights-defender from Ocosingo; the community of San Salvador, municipality of Ocosingo; and the coordination of the Believing Community. The awards committee this year was comprised of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Center for Human Rights, the Commission of Support for Community Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO), the Diocene Coordination of Women, Economic-Social Development for Indigenous Mexicans (DESMI), the Institute of Intercultural Study and Investigation (INESIN), Professor Alberto Patishtán Gómez, the International Christian Service of Solidarity with the People of Latin America (SICSAL), the International Service for Peace (SIPAZ), Services and Assessment for Peace (SERAPAZ), the Las Abejas Civil Society, and Mayan Indian Ecumenical Theology.
For more information (in Spanish):
The Frayba Center presents the Tatic Samuel Award to collectives and peoples (La Jornada, 28 January 2010)
Presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum 2011 Award, including photos, videos, and audio (Chiapas Denuncia Pública, 26 January 2011)
The jTatic Samuel Jcanan Lum Award is presented to rights-defending organizations: the other burial of Tatic Samuel (El Expreso de Chiapas, 28 January 2011)
The “J´Tatic Samuel J´Canan Lum” Award (Cuarto Poder, 26 January 2011)
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: Presentation of the “JTatic Samuel JCanan Lum” Honor (26 January 2010)