From 21 to 23 November was celebrated the seventh Meeting of Builders of Peace and Reconciliation and the XV anniversary of the Commission of Support for Communal Unity and Reconciliation (CORECO) in San Cristóbal de Las Casas. The event was organized and facilitated by CORECO. To the event arrived 65 persons (48 men and 17 women) from 23 communities in 11 municipalities of Chiapas (Ocosingo, Altamirano, El Bosque, Venustiano Carranza, Comitán, Tenejapa, among others). There also participated representatives from different organizations from Chiapas and Oaxaca.
The event was held with the objective of “making profound and strengthening our being and task as builders of peace, to advance in our path toward unity, peace, and reconciliation.”
In small work-groups there was reflected upon the problems lived by the participants in their communities, zones, and regions: “There are many divisions among organizations and religion. There are tricks on the part of political parties. Alcoholism is on the rise due to bars, many youth consume drugs, there is prostitution, adultery increases. The youth go out to work in other places (migration) and change their cultures, traditions, and language. We are losing our culture as indigenous people. There is bad information from the media.”
In light of this situation the participants in the forum interchanged their experiences as builders of peace and reflected on the work they are each of them doing in their communities, in addition to the obstacles they confront and the tasks to be realized so as to improve the situation and advance in their work of peace and reconciliation: “As builders of peace we have a great deal of work to do […]. We can construct peace through the defense of natural resources, in the struggle against mining, in efforts to build food sovereignty, in the defense of the rights of women and children […], in the struggle against militarization and paramilitarization, against the privatization of land, against repression […], for health and education.”
There was also reflected upon how it might be that the heart and work of the builders of peace and reconciliation could be strengthened: “In the work of the construction of peace I see only the organization, religion, or party, not the heart. But if I approach the persons I will see many qualities, many flowers that are in their hearts. We have not only spines; we must recognize our qualities, our flowers.”
For more information from SIPAZ (in English):
Chiapas: Sixth Meeting of Builders of Peace and Reconciliation (26 November 2010)