Chiapas: First anniversary of the death of Bishop Samuel Ruiz García; third award of the Jtatik Samuel jCanan Lum recognition (2012)

@ SIPAZOn 24 January was the one-year anniversary of the death of the bishop emeritus of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Don Samuel Ruíz García, known as Jtatik (father, in Tseltal) by indigenous peoples, those to whom he dedicates his life and work for 40 years as leader of the San Cristóbal diocese.

Days before the anniversary there were held various activities in observation of the date, such as the anniversary of his ordination as bishop on 25 January.  A service ended with an ecumenical act on 24 January, after Bishop Raúl Vera López celebrated a mass in the San Cristóbal cathedral.  Anotehr was held on the 25th in the presence of hundreds of believers (including a strong presence of Tzotzil, Tseltal, Ch’ol, and Tojolabal indigenous persons), priests from 42 municipalities, the bishops of San Cristóbal, Feliipe Arizmendi Esquivel and Enrique Díaz Díaz, as well as Raúl Vera López, present bishop of Saltillo, Coahuila.

Gonzalo Ituarte, a Dominican priest and at one point the Vicar of Justice and Peace for Don Samuel Ruiz García, expressed that “Your face, dear friend, of shepherd and bishop, continues among us.  After a year we are newly together with you, to celebrate the gift of your service, to renew your reconversion, and to celebrate your person.”

During the afternoon of 25 January was awarded the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum recognition (Our Father Samuel, Protector of the Peoples) to three communities and collectives from Chiapas that have demonstrated their service and trajectory “in their liberatory work for the true causes of the people.”  The first group was the coordinators of the so-called “Meetings of Builders of Peace and Reconciliation,” comprised of men and women–among them lay persons, Christians, and Catholics–who support and develop positive resolutions of conflict, dialogue, reconciliation, and peace in the indigenous regions of Chiapas.  The second recognition was granted to the Ejido Nuevo Tila, located in the municipality of Tila, which is constituted in its majority by indigenous Ch’ol individuals.  They were recognized “for their work for over thirty years in defense of their land, for their participation in communal actions to conserve the land, for their election of authorities and encouragement of the participation of women.  They have met with harassment and incarceration for their expressions of solidarity with displaced families in the community Viejo Velasco Suárez, as well as other communities in the region.”  The third award was given to the Mission of the Saintly Trinity, known as Mission Arena, from the Palenque municipality.  “They are women and men (secular and religious) who work from inside indigenous and campesino communities in the jungle.”

The last recognition was given posthumously to Felipe Toussaint Loera, ex-Vicar General of the San Cristóbal diocese, collaborator with Don Samuel, and founder of Coreco.

For more information (in Spanish):

En Chiapas, reconocen a ‘herederos’ de la labor del obispo Samuel Ruiz, CNN, 24 January 2012

Con rezos y oraciones, recuerdan primer aniversario luctuoso de Samuel Ruiz, Proceso 25 January 2012

La huellas de ‘Tatic’ recorren el mundo y están vivas: obispo Vera, La Jornad, 25 January 2012

Conmemoran aniversario luctuoso de Samuel Ruiz, El Universal, 25 January 2012

Palabra de Alberto Patishtán en la entrega del jCanan Lum 2012.

(Comunicado)En memoria de Don Samuel Ruiz García, EPR-PDPR, 25 January 2012

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award during the assembly of the Believing People (7 March 2011)

Chiapas: Presentation of the jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award to the Coordination of Indigenous Social Organizations XI’NICH (25 February 2011)

Chiapas: celebration and presentation of 2011 jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award (31 January 2011)

Chiapas: visit to observe 2011 call for “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” Honor denied (30 July 2010)

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