Tag Archives: Latin America

Brazil: Lajeado Begins Classes to Train Peace Facilitators


An article from the Independente

The development of a culture of peace for the municipality of Lajeado is beginning to take shape. On August 7 and 8, the first group of leaders of the municipality was trained as peace facilitators.

Photo: Divulgação

(Articles continued in right column)

(Click here for the original article in Portuguese)

Questions for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

(continued from left column)

The group participated in the Basic Training Course for Restorative Justice Facilitators to learn about the methodology of Non-Conflicting Peacebuilding Circles. The training of peace facilitators, promoted by Lajeado City Hall in partnership with the Public Prosecution Service (MP), is part of the Lajeado Pact’s Restorative Justice action package.

Beginning in September, the training will also focus on the health, education, social care and culture care network. It will involve community and religious leaders, young people from the CRAS Reference Center and Specialized Reference for Social Assistance (CREAS) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

The course lasts 25 hours and takes place over two days. Thos interested in taking the course can contact the coordination of the Lajeado for Peace Pact by phone 3982-1104 or by email pacto@lajeado.rs.gov.br.

Dominican Republic: MINERD hosts National Student Forum for a Culture of Peace


An article from El Caribe (translation by CPNN)

The Ministry of Education (MINERD) is hosting this Tuesday [August 13], the National Student Forum for a Culture of Peace, within the framework of the Student Merit Recognition Program, in which 360 High School students come to reflect and analyze the different issues related to school life.

The educational activity, which this year has the motto: “Developing socio-emotional skills for citizenship and coexistence”, takes place from today until August 15 in the auditorium of the School of Evangelization John Paul II, under the responsibility of the Direction of Orientation and Psychology directed by Professor Minerva Pérez.

(Article continued in right column)

(Click here for the original article in Spanish.)

Questions for this article:

What is the relation between peace and education?

(Article continued from left column)

Secondary level students, 20 from each educational region, will develop debates about democracy and the construction of a new citizenship, with presentations on the problems that, in their opinion, could interfere with their training and integral development.

“In this interesting debate of ideas and considerations for a peaceful coexistence in the schools, the young people are assuming a leading role. They are committed to improving their lives, generating and discussing concrete proposals that contribute to the strengthening of a culture of peace in their respective educational campuses and communities,” explains the MINERD.

Methodology for student choice

The activities for the participation of the students in the forum, start from the first week of classes with the election of student councils, and close at the end of the year with the recognition of student effort and merit.

As part of the process, the educational and regional districts hold student congresses, where topics of interest to students are debated, proposals are made and those that best represent them are chosen. Subsequently, those students who will represent their regional team in the presentation of the proposals are selected.

The proposals developed during the forum will be included in a national proposal by a process of consensus. At the close of this forum, students are expected to present to the authorities the national proposal for a culture of peace that they will promote during the 2019-2020 school year, with a call to their peers to join their implementation and strategy “Schools for a culture of peace.”

Mexico: First International Congress on Social Prevention of Violence and Culture of Peace


An article from Zacatecas Hoy (translation by CPNN)

In order to strengthen the actions that the State Government carries out in the area of ​​social prevention of crime, the First International Congress of Social Prevention of Violence and Culture of Peace will be held [in Zacatecas] next October.

The Undersecretary of Social Crime Prevention, Armando García Neri informed that the Congress will receive results of research and theoretical contributions on various topics, includeing urban planning, gender, substance use, rights and factors involved in childhood, communication strategies for the construction of a culture of peace, analysis of cognitive behavioral therapies and culture of peace.

(Article continued in right column)

(Click here for the original article in Spanish.)

Questions for this article:

Where are police being trained in culture of peace?

(Article continued from left column)

Likewise, during the congress that will be held on October 2, 3 and 4, issues related to the actions of the police as a security force will have to be addressed.

All of the above will be addressed hrough work tables, master conferences and cultural and social workshops in which the Benemérita Autonomous University of Zacatecas will have a fundamental participation.

In addition to specialists from our country, experts in the field from countries such as Canada, Chile, Colombia, the United States and Italy will participate in the congress.

Finally, García Neri stressed the importance of these types of events, as they come to enrich the strategies and actions that the state administration undertakes on fundamental and priority issue ssuch as crime prevention.

Colombia: Rigoberta Menchú asks the Government to strengthen the peace agreement


An article from RCN Televisión (translation by CPNN)

Guatemalan peace nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchú has asked the government of President Iván Duque to strengthen the peace agreement, which was signed with the FARC guerrillas in November 2016.

“There must be much more investment in building a culture of peace, an education for peace,” said Menchu, who participates in Cartagena in the Women Economic Forum (WEF) that began on Thursday [August 1] and concludes on Saturday.

PHOTO: Rigoberta Menchur

Menchu ​​said that this is vital because “surely all common citizens recognize not only the historical importance of the peace agreement but also the importance of its implementation.”

In that sense, she stressed the importance that both former guerrillas and state actors “really have the guarantee of building a new perspective without war and with the possibility of a better life, that is, a decent life from the economic, political, social and cultural point of view. ”

The winner of the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation in 1998 also highlighted the need to make visible the achievements made in the implementation of the agreement because she believes that this is essential in order to “take stock”.

(Continued in right column)

(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Question related to this article:

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

(Continued from left column)

“Humanity would like to see those achievements.”

Menchu ​​also referred to the murder of social leaders and former FARC guerrillas and said that as long as there is impunity “it is very difficult to achieve absolute respect for a peace process.”

“A tremendous effort must be made not only to enforce peace agreements but also to enforce criminal justice,” she said.

In Colombia at least 462 social leaders and human rights defenders were murdered between January 1, 2016 and February 28 of this year, according to data from the Ombudsman’s Office.

Likewise, a study by the NGO Institute for Peace and Development Studies (Indepaz) and the political movement Patriotic March maintains that more than 700 social leaders and 135 ex-combatants of the FARC have been killed since 2016, the year in which the peace agreement was signed.

In addition, the NGO Somos Defensores has reported that the murders of defenders increased almost 50% in 2018, and the crimes were not punished, since in three out of four cases the authorship of the crime was not even established.

Menchú recalled that in Guatemala after signing a peace agreement in December 1996 between the Government of the then President Álvaro Arzú and the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unit, “an enormous effort was made to persuade the courts to file complaints.”

“We were aware that the subsequent violence had to be prevented, persecution had to be prevented and many times the state security forces or the war actors themselves do it,” he said.

In a press conference prior to her speech at the Cartagena forum, Menchú also said that women should have specific courts to try crimes and aggressions suffered by women.

“We women should consider ourselves as powerful. If that becomes our way of thinking, it will strengthen the actions we do and our actions will be transformative,” concluded Menchu.

Colombia: Barranquilla will host the first Ibero-American Education Congress


An article in El Heraldo (translation by CPNN)

Within the framework of the celebration of the 70 years of the Organization of Ibero-American States (OIE), the first Ibero-American Congress on Education, Citizenship and Democracy will be held on August 29 and 30. In the event, whose details were released Thursday in a press conference, topics will include education for global citizenship, ethics and democracy for sustainable development.

Press conference to give details of the meeting. Mery Granados

During the press conference, organized by the Simón Bolívar University, the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) and the Foundation for Quality Education, it was reported that the congress is framed in the Educational Agenda to 2030.

Carlos Zuluaga Pardo, Deputy Director of the OEI, said that this congress is an opportunity for the Caribbean region to open the doors to the world and contribute to the discussion on issues of coexistence, peace, inclusion, global citizenship and diversity. He said the event will be held at the José Consuegra Higgins Theater.

Lilia Campo Ternera, director of the José Consuegra Higgins Social Research and Innovation Center (CIISO) of the Simón Bolívar University, said that Unisimón seeks to open spaces to disseminate knowledge generated by researchers from CIISO, who have made different studies and analysis about inclusion, democracy, citizenship, development and cognitive processes.

(Article continued in right column)

(Click here for the original article in Spanish.)

Questions for this article:

What is the relation between peace and education?

(Article continued from left column)

About the congress

This meeting will be key considering that the world’s educational systems, especially in Latin America, face the challenge of training children and young people as citizens who recognize and value the importance of democracy, solidarity, mutual respect, coexistence , the peaceful resolution of conflicts, respect for differences, especially their most vulnerable partners, social learning, cooperation and rejection of all forms of exclusion, segregation and violence.

The International Study on Civic and Citizen Education (ICCS 2016) showed worrying results, in the sense that half of the students from Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and the Dominican Republic fail to demonstrate any specific knowledge and understanding about institutions, systems and civic and citizenship concepts. These five countries are the lowest performing within 24 educational systems analyzed.

The Congress works with the framework of action of the Sustainable Development Goal No. 4, which specifies the need to guarantee inclusive, equitable and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. In addition, in the framework of the Educational Agenda 2030, which incorporates an important component related to education for democratic citizenship, especially in goal 4.7 (Knowledge and skills for sustainable development)

The main purpose is that in 2030 all students acquire theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to promote sustainable development, among other things, through education and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, the promotion of a culture of peace and nonviolence, world citizenship and the valuation of cultural diversity and the contribution of culture to sustainable development.

The congress will feature the participation of renowned international and national speakers, experts in the field such as Alicia Cabezudo (Argentina), Marita Copes (Uruguay), Enrique Rentería (Mexico), Julián De Zubiria (Colombia), Francisco Cajiao (Colombia), Alejo Vargas (Colombia), and Abel Rodríguez (Colombia), among others. It will be addressed to educators, teachers and administrative managers of all levels, from preschool to postgraduate; as well as researchers, academics, civil society organizations, governments, businessmen and students.

Mexico: Congress for Peace and Youth 2019


An article from El Sol de Cuernavaca (translation by CPNN)

In the framework of August youth month, Diego Alcázar Pérez, director of Impajoven, announced the call for the 1st edition of the Congress for Peace and Youth 2019 that will aim to raise awareness among participants about the importance of peace for community development.

Photo: Froylán Trujillo

(Continued in right column)

(Click here for the original Spanish article)

Question related to this article:
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

(Continued from left column)

The event to be held in September is sponsored by the State System of Policies with and by youth participation. They will create a manifesto of the youth 2019 where they will make demands on the government. The governor Cuauhtémoc Blanco Bravo has recognized them as agents of peace, promoting political participation and the culture of peace.

The Congress will be held at the Cultural Center “Los Chocolates” along with six activities: political rehearsal; artistic and digital poster contest; Impamun United Nations model; resistance workshops and non-violent actions; as well as the culture of peace workshop. The Congress seeks young people to be agents of change in their locality.

The Americas are preparing for the second World March for Peace and Nonviolence


An article from Pressenza (translation by CPNN)

North America

United States

A tribute to ML King was given in Helen Park. The core team will go through New York and San Francisco. A visit to the United Nations is planned for a possible reception by the Secretary General. The presentation of the documentary “The Beginning of the End of Nuclear Weapons”. Through the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, a line of work for collaboration and convergence was opened under the program 2030 of the United Nations. Contacts with the United Nations Secretary-General on the theme of the refoundation of the United Nations and possible macro-consultations on the subject at the March.


Canada participated in the march for Earth Day with the message “Non-violence is ecological: without war, there are no dirty weapons”. A press release is being prepared to request spaces for the invitation to organize activities for the passage of the march. On Saturday, 27/4 we attended the Spring of the Alternatives event to find contacts.


The World March is invited to participate in the Nobel Peace Summit to be held in Merida on 17 and 23 September 2019. During the visit of the core team, there will be an event at the border with the United States and a tribute to the Treaty of Tlatelolco.

Central America


Alliances have been formed between individuals and organizations to strengthen the group of promoters. Among these, different sectors are represented: Civil society organizations, DiverArte, Organizations related to community communication, Student organizations, National University: students of the University of San Carlos de Guatemala, Municipalities: Municipality of Mixco


Formation of the school 60 which will lead to the construction of the symbol of peace. It will be realized by the children of the schools located in the border zones of Honduras and Guatemala, at the reception of the March. The association of medical students of the National University UNAH and two private universities organizes the accompaniment of the March during its tour in Central America. The municipalities of Omoa and San Pedro Sula, decide to participate in the March with a massive mobilization of the population. Conducting three simultaneous conferences at San Pedro Sula Universities on topics related to world peace.


Contacts are ongoing with some Cuban organizations.

El Salvador

Activities will be launched from Andrés Bello University. Probably in several cities of the country: San Salvador, San Miguel, Chalatenango, etc.

Costa Rica

We presented the campaign of the global plan of action for non-violence at educational centers 11 – 22, July. The teacher training plan begins the third week of July. Meetings with government authorities, the municipality of San José and organizations to propose activities on the theme of non-violence. Meetings every two weeks on Wednesdays at CAP from 5p.m. Celebration with artistic activities, human symbols of the International Day of Peace 21 / 9. Celebration of the day of non-violence 2/10 and departure of the March. Participation in the labor day march, distribution of flyers and transport of the March cover. Declaration of Cultural Interest of the March by the Government of Costa Rica. During the March, 27 and 28 in November are expected to participate in the International Forum on “The Role of the Armies in the 21st Century”. Activities with 1000 children on the esplanade of the Children’s Museum. Concert for peace in the park of democracy. Realization of human symbols at the passage of the March and some cultural reception events.


Last year, a forum was held at the Inter-American University. Between the end of September and the beginning of October 2019, we will organize a forum at a local university (location, date and time to be confirmed). As part of the second Global March for Peace and Non-Violence, we invite stakeholders to participate in the forum “Culture of Peace, Non-Violence, Respect for Children and Nature for a Better Panama” . They can, in this environment, share information they deem relevant on actions, contributions and projects in this regard.

South America


In Bogotá: Work with the 40 schools that supported us during the South American march. We will hold workshops on active nonviolence, murals, drawings, flag raising, stories and writings, symbols of peace in the area and parades. The symbol of peace will be held in the Plaza de Bolívar, inviting 5000 people. Realization of a great concert for peace and non-violence. In Barrancabermeja: There will be a conference in Unipaz and SENA. A walk through the city to gather 2000 people. Contacts will be established with the human rights entities we worked with during March. We will close with a great symbol of peace at Kolibri Park. In Medellin: Carnival of culture, conferences in a university on peace and non-violence. Contact government entities responsible for human rights and related organizations. In other cities of Colombia: (Cali-Popayan-Pasto-Cartagena-Tunia-Cucuta-Bucaramanga-Ipiales-Armenia-Neiva). Peace marches and symbols will take place. Contact with schools. Discussions on non-violence in universities and institutes.

(continued in right column)

(Click here for a French version of this article or here for a Spanish version.)

Question for this article:

How can we be sure to get news about peace demonstrations?

(continued from left column)


In Guayaquil, letters were sent to universities for forums. National schools that verbally communicated their interest were contacted. Contacts have also been established in other cities such as Manta, Ámbato and Quitó. In Guayaquil: Activities are planned at the University of Guayaquil and Casa Grande University. Inter youth sports club championship. Some colleges and the municipality of Guayaquil. On the cover: Activities are planned for the passage of the 2ª March in coordination with the Pan-American Round Table and the University of Manta.


Appointments every Sunday with personal development work and organization of the March. A diptych has been developed, institutions contacted. We were interviewed on the radio. And,the March was advertised in the Sao Paulo Forum through the women’s sector. We continue to contact people and institutions that support the March There will be forums with videos to advertise it.


In Sao Paulo – SP: Meetings for the dissemination of the March and the formation of a group of volunteers to participate in the organization and dissemination of the March in Sao Paulo. Production of explanatory material on how to organize the symbols of peace and other global activities in schools and universities. In Cubatão – SP: Meeting with the director of education to create human symbols in schools in the region. In July, 22 met the directors of 75 to make human symbols in various schools in the towns of the Santos coast. Presentation of the March on July 23, this time to the directors and coordinators of the first years (1º to 5º degree). There was a very good positive energy, we encourage schools to achieve the symbol of peace at the launch of the World March, during the week of non-violence from 2 to October 4. Participation in the March for culture of peace to be held in August In Caucaia – SP: Presentation of the March to representatives of different religious groups of the city.  Participation in the March for the Culture of Peace, to be held in August by the Ministry of Sport and Culture of Cotia in collaboration with an interfaith commission. In Paraisópolis – MG: In August 29, we will have a meeting with all the schools of Paraisópolis to inform of the world March and propose activities. During the visit of the base team, an activity is planned with the children in the message room of the silo south of Minas Gerais. Em Salvador – BA: Trip to Bahia to broadcast the March, contact with Bom Fim Brothers in Salvador, Bahia, with the proposal to create a community of nonviolent resistance in the city. In Recife – PE: The meeting with the Ministry of Education of Jaboatão dos Guararapes took place in July 17. The 12th of August will be held as part of the training of the project on non-violence in schools with schools 30 of the metropolitan area of ​​Recife. In Curitiba – PR: We are planning a visit to the Lula Libre camp. We are trying to organize a base team visit to Lula to deliver the book of the South American March for Peace and Nonviolence.


Prevention and anti-violence workshops with prospective teachers and mothers in schools in Comas District, Lima. Prevention and fight against violence among school teachers in the district of Cañete. We have promoters in every city. We are coordinating to promote the activities at each point. We have a central location in Lima, provided by the University Ricardo Palma.


In La Paz: Activities focused on the printing and delivery of invitation letters to secondary and primary schools in the Sopocachi region of La Paz. Since July, workshops for teachers and students from the same region have started. In Cochabamba: Activities carried out at the University Mayor of San Simón during the peace march in South America to 2018. In Santa Cruz: The Silo Study Center began with the dissemination of World March activities . Beginning of dissemination activities in July.


We are starting organizational meetings with new people to fit into the activities. We are planning a tour of all regions of Chile to promote the formation of grassroots groups. They will rely on the production of materials of all kinds to cover the actions. The idea is to integrate people to continue the March in future editions. Also in Chile, we will strengthen support for the NPT (Nuclear Weapons Treaty). Progress has already been made with parliamentarians, we will now expand our action to municipalities. Contact in Chile with the Mexican environment Alicia Bárcenas (ECLAC) who has access to the UN and the governments of the region. The organizer of WOMAD offered to collaborate with the March in Chile for the realization of a mega symbol of peace. At the Latin American Humanist Forum of 11, 12 and 13 in May, the March for America was discussed at the Teatro del Puente. We will have a discussion of the network of teams for the March at the Americas level in July 27.


There are promoters in the 8 provinces : Salta, Jujuy, Tucumán, Cordoba, Mendoza, Rio Negro (El Bolsón), Bueno Aires (Tigre and Mar del Plata) and recently in the CABA (autonomous city of Bs. will be two main events in the country: Recognition of the mothers and grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo as heroes of the nonviolent struggle. Tribute to Silo [Mario Luis Rodríguez Cobos] . In the process of organization In Buenos Aires: Dissemination activities in Parque Lezama, Buenos Aires Province and CABA. The rest is under development. In Cordoba: The team of promoters of the city was formed and organizational meetings were organized. The March has already been declared of educational interest by the province of Córdoba. The application for membership of other institutions to the municipality and the chamber of legislators was presented. The following have been programmed: Work in Schools, The Making of a Wall Campaign, The Screening of the Documentary “The End of Nuclear Weapons”, A musical musical festival among other actions. In Jujuy: A small action is planned for the delivery of the book of the South American March, to Miracle House. Draft to declare week 1 of October the week of non-violence of 2019. In Salta: The Community for the human development and members of the General Direction of the community organization of the municipality presented to the Human Rights Commission and the constitutional guarantees of the Council of deliberation the plan to declare the week 1 of October the week of the nonviolence of 2019 and the Place of the Peace and Non Violence is inaugurated. Make a calendar with activities (1 per month) of diffusion: Cinema debate on the beginning of the end of nuclear weapons, Marathon or bike ride, Human symbols, Closure with a cultural festival. In Mendoza: In July 19, there was a workshop meeting with social organizations adhering to the 2MM. At the 02 of October, there will be marches of Las Heras in Centro de Mendoza. Symbols of peace of the students of the school of Mendoza. In Punta de Vacas: Celebration of the 10th anniversary of the First March on 02/01/2020.

The Americas prepare for the world march

Despite economic, social and political difficulties, each in his own way should try to participate in the project. If this is the case, you can do this by facilitating contacts of individuals, personalities or NGOs in the above-mentioned countries or in other countries through this e-mail address. .

Venezuela. The construction of peace must have the quality of feminism


An article by Entrompe de Falopio in Kaosenlared (translation by CPNN)

Within the framework of the “Women and the Construction of a Culture of Peace” project, we present an interview with REBECA MADRIZ, militant Feminist, member of the Gender with Class Foundation created in 2008 and a lawyer by profession

Venezuela has been experiencing confrontation and conflict between political positions that have formed two irreconcilable or seemingly irreconcilable poles. How do you see the current stage of that conflict or polarization?

RM: In the first place, the level of political polarization that exists in Venezuela is unique, even when compared to the rest of Latin America. It is a complex situation with serious effects on the Venezuelan people, aggravated by the interference of factors external to the country.

There are very worrying levels of this polarization as it is expressed in the daily life of the life of Venezuelan women and men. In principle it has to do with the violence and intolerance encouraged by political factors, where the media have a leading role. There are outbreaks of fascism expressed in very radical sectors. They have been repeatedly denounced as a hatred that has no basis or justification, but which is expressed specifically in levels of political violence especially against popular sectors, There are alarming aspects of violence, extreme discrimination , hate speech, physical violence, racism, misogyny. Hate crimes have occurred for political reasons that have taken the lives of Venezuelan women and men, which is an element of deep concern.

In this sense, the call for national dialogue is a priority, because it is precisely the national interest, for the future of the country and the Venezuelan people. Unfortunately there are undemocratic sectors that are blocking this possibility. I have no doubt, that dialogue is a national and patriotic feeling, because it is about putting the Venezuelan people above political differences, and settling differences within our Constitutional and democratic framework.

In Venezuela, the people were historically excluded from politics, but thanks to the context of participatory and leading democracy our voice is heard today today. But there is a non-democratic sector of the country that does not want the people to take part in power. They seem to believe that we are in past centuries and that this is the kind of democracy that gives citizenship only to a privileged sector while denying it to the great majority of the people. It must be denounced that one of the political sectors in our conflict has a very serious level of anti-national bias, which is expressed in their refusal to dialogue. This does not support the democratic spirit of the country, but rather it is detrimental. And to this we must add – because it is impossible to talk about Venezuela without putting this in context – the interference of foreign factors, an entire international coalition that aims to overturn the route validated by the Venezuelan people with the Constitution since 1999.

Now, polarization is also expressed in everyday life, we see families, work, circles of friendships torn apart by that polarization. However, I still believe that polarization passes to a second level of importance when we evaluate that this is the most complex situation we have experienced, due to the international threats and military intervention that have been made against the country. It is our position as feminist militants that every scenario of war conflict, every scenario of conventional warfare, is a threat to women and a violation of human rights. We have made significant gains, and we do not want to sacrifice them and much less to turn our bodies into the spoils of war.

This international threat exacerbates our polarization, aided by the violence expressed by the most radical undemocratic sectors. This international pressure is not a small thing, because it is led by the US that it is the world’s first military power, that has shown its criminal side in interventions in sister countries. In our case, we hope that internal conflicts can be resolved by Venezuelan women and men without foreign intervention.

Here is the challenge in everyday life for the social and popular movement. We call first the feminists who militate in the Venezuelan opposition, who also fight for a life free of violence, to locate a common agenda, always within the framework of respect for the country’s sovereignty, human rights, and democracy. These are the key points, determinants of what we cannot be willing as a people to yield or sacrifice. We are obliged to work together to understand and overcome what is at risk in Venezuela today.

In particular, the political conflict how it has affected women and dissident sexualities

RM: The level of polarization in the country today is not neutral, of course; it is about the rise to political power of sectors of the Venezuelan people that were historically excluded. This polarization produced a reaction that has manifested itself over twenty years of political process in several very serious events for the country: the oil strike, coup d’etats, sabotages in different instances, among others. Scenarios that have demonstrated a claim to return to the political power of the elites of the right, regardless of the effects. This has had very serious consequences in the Venezuelan people. The unconventional war, the economic and financial blockade, has very serious consequences on the human rights of the Venezuelan people. In the specific case of women, we have become the center of economic warfare and unconventional warfare that has been unleashed against the Venezuelan people.

First, one of the fundamental strengths of the Bolivarian Revolution has been its social policy, in which women are placed as a priority, because we continue to be the majority of the poor in the country. As a result of this process and the developed democratic context, we, as women, have experienced a significant expansion of citizenship. And besides, feminism has managed to shed some of the burden of prejudices that weighed on it. There has been an organizational explosion of women fighting in the community, in the workplace, against violence, for sexual and reproductive rights. This has produced a significant empowerment, which added to the history of the feminist and women’s movement in Venezuela, and the political will of President Hugo Chávez and his declaration as a feminist, also allowed us to popularize and demystify feminism. Today the popular organizational expression of women in Venezuela is absolutely overflowing after twenty years of political process.

This explosion has led women to assume a key role in the voluntary community day, which is above 80% female participation. That is why the women’s movement is central to thestructuring of the social force that accompanies the Bolivarian Revolution. We are the majority in social missions, in communal councils, in CLAP, that is, in front of all the forms of popular organization that have been changing and developing,. The combative face of Venezuelan women is a fortress, no doubt, very big.

The economic war, especially since 2013, with a very high peak in 2015, and then in 2018 and 2019, when it began to be expressed in hoarding, speculation, bachaqueo and attack to the currency was intended to demobilize to a large extent the popular movement that was the social support of the Bolivarian Revolution.

The intention of removing women from the community political day is beginning to be expressed with the disappearance of fundamental products for women and mothers: sanitary napkins, absence of contraceptives, diapers, milk for the kids. That is, a series of products that were especially linked to women, the head of household, the housewife, the working woman. They took us out of the community political activity, voluntarily, to get us in an 8-hour queue. Recall 2015 where there were queues of 8 and 12 hours to access a package of diapers, a package of milk. There I think there is a very key element that has to do with the objectives and effects of that war in the lives of women.

If in conventional wars, our bodies are used as spoils of war, I believe that this unconventional war is meant to take us out of the political, public sphere. It is related to detriment of the material conditions of the Venezuelan people, of violation of fundamental human rights, of the right to access to food, to health As a direct consequence of the situation of international blockade, this had and has a heartbreaking impact on the daily life of Venezuelan women.

The effects on the lives of women is alarming. We are forced to defend the human rights that we believed were already assured. We consider that the systematic attack that the country is experiencing today can be classified as a crime against humanity. The context today shows us that then we have to be on the street fighting to have access to food, for light, water, food and medicine, which for us are fundamental human rights, already acquired, and guaranteed.

To speak today of our historical struggle, might seem out of context elements in a scenario in which we have to fight to have food every day, to have access to drinking water; however, it is obviously part of our political agenda.

The scenario of war in the country makes the situation more complex. The health system is vulnerable due to lack of vital materials. Deaths from clandestine abortions and unwanted pregnancies are increased due to the fact that we do not have access to contraceptive methods. The violation of specific rights becomes more complex. The health system is forced to give priority to antibiotics, and contraceptives may not be a priority in a scenario in which we are fighting for the most basic elements of subsistence.

Finally, the scenario of war and all that frustration that has produced the change in our daily lives, in the level of life achieved, all the psychological pressure to which we are subjected daily, have expressions in the home. This is the place that should be the safest, but which is sometimes the most dangerous for women. To the burden of structural machismo that we already had, we must add the frustration scenario of a frustrated male supplier, who discharges his violence, on those whom he continues to believe are his property: the body and life of women.

We have made progress in women’s rights in Venezuela with legal framework, institutional framework, a movement in full swing and in full demand, in full tension with the institutional framework, a tension for progress. However, war has indeed been attacking this agenda, as I was saying to you as our agenda for the strategic objective of equality, has had to adjust to this basic struggle for survival, for the subsistence of the most elementary things. I do believe that women are at the center of this war which is intended to demobilize the main social force of the historical project of the Bolivarian Revolution.

There are those who believe that violence can be increased either by an invasion or by open civil war, what impacts would this have on the lives of women and dissident sexualities?

RM: Either scenario, of course, would have a negative effect on the entire Venezuelan people. In the case of women, a foreign military intervention as history has told us, and as the testimonies of the women victims confirm it – the presence of foreign military increases sexual violence and physical violence against women. An intervention in our country would mean an invasion not only to our territory but also to our body. The use of women in these scenarios, to undermine the dignity of peoples, has been a recurring practice that has been used by all these international military coalitions when they arrive in a country. It is not only the physical annihilation, but it is the moral annihilation of that population, that is done on the body of women, to degrade, to undermine dignity, to vex, humiliate, such as the use of systematic rape, the use of girls for sexual purposes, physical violence. Of course, all of this constitutes a very serious risk to the lives of Venezuelan women. Likewise, in the case of a civil war in the country. That is why we strongly reject the intention of putting war as part of the political options as an undemocratic sector of the Venezuelan opposition has claimed.

There is an element that is the profound patriarchal characteristic of wars: the use of weapons is a structural part of the patriarchy, that model of masculinity in which wars and confrontation are the way to the solution of any difference. Within the framework of a society that has begun the 21st century with very large elements of progressivity, our people cannot and does not deserve it. Despite our polarization, there is not even the slightest will of the great majority for either one of these two scenarios, precisely because of the democratic tradition we have as a people. Venezuelan women refuse both of these two scenarios, both deeply patriarchal, of reaffirmation of power, force, hierarchies and supremacy, because we understand that the dead and dead of that war are the children of the people. The great majority of Venezuelan women refuse to give up on the peaceful route, because finally the casualties of any warlike scenario, of armed conflict, are the men and women of the people.

We view with great concern any scenario of military intervention by foreign armies in Venezuela, to solve a problem of Venezuelans. We have the democratic and constitutional mechanisms to solve our problems. Indeed the consequences on the lives of women, would be to return to another century. I have confidence in the maturity, level of awareness and politicization of a people that is capable of being above those who invoke any kind of confrontation in the country. The path of dialogue is the first scenario for us. We reject any option that involves the sacrifice of human lives of Venezuelan wmen and men in an armed and military intervention.

We look towards the future, without giving up our rights, or losing human lives in our country. We seek solutions and alternatives that allow us to get out of the situation we are going through. I believe that ours is a people with a democratic culture and, above all, a peaceful one that can survive and provide a promising future that allows us to continue the progress and progressivity of our fundamental human rights.

In both halls similar stories are heard. The armed conflict affected the lives of all and left Do you see the impact of geopolitics on the Venezuelan conflict, what and how would it be?

RM: I am convinced that today in the geopolitical scenario, the conservative forces have advanced and there is a recolonization project especially in Latin America that has already produced some regression in the continent. The return of some right-wing governments in Latin America show how that agenda is being imposed. In the case of Brazil and Argentina, unlike the line headed by Venezuela under the leadership of Hugo Chávez, the democratization and social progress of the people has been sacrificed to neoliberal policies.

In the case of Brazil, a democratic process was sacrificed in the case of Dilma Rousseff. One of the first actions after her departure was to eliminate the ministry of women. Bolsonaro represents a religious fundamentalist attack on human rights, dismantling the advances of a feminist approach. In the Argentina of Mauricio Macri the conditions of the population have deteriorated.

(Continued in right column)

(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Question related to this article:

Do women have a special role to play in the peace movement?

What is really happening in Venezuela?

(Continued from left column)

We have also seen with alarm, the murder of emblematic leaders of the popular and feminist movement, such Marielle Franco in Brazil and Berta Cáceres in Honduras, who embodied feminism in the struggles of the villages. We fear, of course, that this is the same script that is intended to be applied in Venezuela to quell popular struggles. There are other complexities on the continent, such as the case of Ecuador, where there was a reconfiguration of internal politics with a radical turn to the right.

On the other hand, the international integration mechanisms that had been promoted by Venezuelahave been sabotaged and dismantled, and a coalition of right-wing countries has embarked on a crusade to isolate Venezuela diplomatically and internationally, They have attacked CELAC and against UNASUR they have created their own coalition called PROSUR. An official of the Venezuelan government has said that it would be more accurate to name it PRONORTE because it is finally the application of the imperialist script and the recolonizing process of the continent, in which these governments act as guard dogs of foreign interests.

For those promoting that scenario, Venezuela is still deeply problematic and it continues to be a bad example, because the people fight and resist, who are not going to support a neoliberal reform. In this country despite the media, economic, unconventional warfare and – in the midst of the toughest circumstances we have had – we see a deeply conscious people, a people on the street, a people defending their sovereignty, their natural resources and defending the rights we have conquered. That is why they see us as a bad example, because we continue to insist that despite the circumstances there is a constructive alternative for the peoples of the world. Now, we must undoubtedly strive to repair the mistakes we have made as popular and progressive governments in recent years.

Another key factor in Venezuela is oil as the main energy resource. We are still flooded with the largest oil reserves in the world, and it is obvious that due to its proximity to the US, they have great interest to regain control over them.

There are also historical reasons that make us a bad example for imperialism, including the heroism of our people, the capacity for resistance and our certainty that we can move forward. Our history, our economic energy with oil and the political will of Venezuelan democracy means we are a bad example for the pretensions of recolonizing the continent; These are the fundamental scenarios of this geopolitical reconfiguration, of this new chess game that seeks to isolate Venezuela economically, militarily, diplomatically and politically.

Fortunately, in the face of the threat of foreign intervention, the response has been the solidarity of the great majority of the world’s people who refuse to let Latin America be used again as a war scenario in order to meet the designs of the government of the USA. In the context of their internal electoral elections scenario, they always need a trophy, but we are not willing to have that trophy be based on the sovereignty and life of Venezuelan women and men.

For the dialogue between the opposing poles, what elements are needed?

RM: The dialogue scenario has always been present. On the international stage there is a political will to accompany the dialogue. We insist that this is the way to settle our differences and although it seems obvious, we have to insist because every day we hear radical anti-democratic sectors rejecting dialogue, and asking for a foreign intervention. And specifically, every time a dialogue process has begun, the table is quickly left. That said, the scenario of dialogue in the country must put the welfare of the Venezuelan people at the center of the debate.

Now it is true that the Venezuelan economy has a deep structural problem. This should undoubtedly be a central element of the dialogue. The issue of the country’s recovery necessarily goes through a review of the economic structure in Venezuela. Economic actors have to play a specific role, it cannot be the State playing alone, swimming against the current, it has to be with economic actors, looking for alternatives and solutions. In any case the superior interest should be the future of the country. There are some sectors that have received financing from the State for production, but that have capitulated to sabotage, speculation, hoarding. For that, the people demand exemplary sanctions. It is one thing not to sympathize with a political option, but another one very different to play with the people’s right to food, to force a political option. That is a crime, and it must be addressed. Especially important is the transfer of powers to popular power, especially through the Communes, which is key to shielding access to food as a priority aspect. So I believe that the dialogue must transcend polarization and also consider the sectors that defend this country and are willing to work for its recovery.

Another aspect is the reparation of the victims. There are emblematic cases, such as those who have been victimized by their skin color in this country. I see it as a fundamental scenario to address the irresponsible actions of the most radicalized sectors of the right in the country. If there is no justice and recognition of the victims it is difficult to move forward. These victims must not remain invisible and mute, to the eyes and ears of the international community.

Politically, it is a very complex situation. If you ask me personally what the political exit is, I would say that the will of the majority of the Venezuelan people must be respected. We have gone through a series of elections that took place from the municipal councils, to the Presidency of the Republic, in which millions expressed our will. We have exercised the right to vote, our duty as Venezuelan women and men and we hope that this will be respected. and recognized, for its legitimacy, for its constitutionality. It is an afront to Venezuelan democracy to say that, if an electoral result does not favor me then the Constitution is not valid, the election is not worth it. It is a violation of Venezuelan democracy to insist that when a political factor does not agree with an electoral result then the elections must simply be repeated. Any decisions must be in the context of democratic commitment with respect to the Venezuelan institutions and our Venezuelan constitutional framework.

I propose this because it has been said that the opposition does not want dialogue but free elections. And I worry about that, because I voted, freely, consciously, autonomously, with full freedom of conscience, and I think that one of the greatest strengths we have is the participatory democratic model. If we weaken it, we run serious risks. So it is not clear what are “free elections” according to that sector. However, I would understand if, given the complexity of international encirclement, that part of the dialogue must debate a scenario that allows a democratic reaffirmation that avoids a violent exit to the situation in the country.

I insist that our route must follow the Venezuelan democratic system. That does not happen if you and I are candidates and if you are elected, then I can ignore you and demand new elections. Such a scenario would be a risk for Venezuelan democracy and that risk has to be the last resort used, so as not to violate our democratic system. However, I also understand that the peace of the Venezuelan people is the superior objective to which we owe ourselves at this time.

Finally, the reform of the State, must be on the agenda. The polarization that the country has today has brought about a situation of state destruction and weakening of the institutional framework, so I think that we must seek a revision of that old institutionality, expired, bureaucratic and dehumanized. We need an institution that adjusts to these times, to the new needs, with a legal framework that makes the State’s action much more effective.

We are challenged to overcome a bourgeois state and its capitalist and patriarchal logic. The situation today makes it imminent that this is an element of the technical and political debate that concerns all the core issues for the country including the economy, agriculture, education, public administration, health, human rights. I believe that this issue is key to making viable and feasible the possibility of building a much more solid route on the peaceful and democratic path that we take as a people.

The University Institute of Peace and Conflicts of Granada argues that “There is negative peace (there is peace when there is no violence), positive peace (there is peace when there is justice) and imperfect peace” How would you apply this statement to Venezuela?

RM: The Bolivarian project has peace with social justice on its route. It has been a recurring element in all the scenarios we have gone through, and it is a central agenda today. If you take away social justice from the Bolivarian Revolution, it is an unfeasible project that would have no reason to exist and you would not have people in the street defending what we have, fighting in CLAP, fighting for water, going out in the streets, rejecting a military intervention in the country. Social justice is necessary to ensure that peace is not that “negative peace” formalism where there is no scenario of violence, but where social inequalities open a gap between privileged and excluded sectors.

Today there are indeed great weaknesses in the entire state network especially in the justice system, which have generated an alarming situation of impunity. Structural changes are needed, because justice remains deeply patriarchal and classist.

In the situation that Venezuela is going through today, of blockade, of economic and financial siege, if we did not have a social protection policy, especially for the most vulnerable sectors, whose economic conditions are increasingly precarious, we would no doubt have a mass mobilization of the people against the government. But that is not the case. Indeed, there is a polarization in the country, but a good part of the Venezuelan population is resisting and defending our social gains. The other pole is also suffering and with a deep discontent but without mass action in the street.

A good part of the mobilization in Venezuela is popular, consisting of sectors of the people that historically have been the most excluded and the most vulnerable. Where those sectors have manifested themselves, the majority decisions have resulted which should be recognized by the internal and international political actors. People defend because there is a political, historical, loving reason, and there is a material reason that also moves people. While we have some sectors trying to eradicate the rights we had acquired, there is also a sector that is trying to protect what we have achieved as a people. So, we have an imperfect peace. It does not ignore the existence of conflict, contradiction, and even violence, but it values ​​the resistance and solidarity of the people to preserve the conditions of life and peace; while understanding the need for structural transformations.

What should be the role of social organizations in the construction and sustainability of a culture of peace for Venezuela?

RM: After the experience we have and have had collectively, in the feminist and women’s movement, I believe that we can set an example of what a route can be for the country. It involves principles and points that are essential, such as respect and defense of democracy and human rights. It is possible to articulate a concrete agenda of political action, of collective action. We in particular as a movement have elements that are sensitive to the whole society, one of them is violence against women. It is a route in which the popular movement can contribute to national understanding, dialogue and articulation of the poles in deep contradiction.

The contribution of the popular movement must be more than words. It must continue to be expressed in action so that the country sees the feminist movement in a common cause. For example, I believe that the reform of the organic law on the right of women to a life free of violence, should be pursued. It is a message that says a lot.

The pacifist tradition of the feminist movement is a tradition closely linked to the fight against war, to eradicate the forms of patriarchal, warlike, hegemonic and hierarchical power. This gives us a moral authority as a movement, as the main promoters of a culture of peace in the country. We women practice this every day as an example. I think this may be the best way to give a message to the country of what is possible, and I am sure we can do it.

Peace is not a specific area of ​​the female gender, nor do women have a natural predisposition for it, but its construction is a task that concerns both sexes equally. However, the fact that women’s mobilizations have often included peace among their demands, as evidenced by the alliance between suffragism and pacifism first, and the recurring unions between feminism and pacifism later, is undeniable. In conflicts that have occurred in Latin America and the Caribbean, women’s groups have played an important role for peace. Do you think that in Venezuela it would be possible to replicate those experiences? Who would be the subjects of these initiatives? What conditions should be met?

RM: As I told you, peace is part of the daily contribution of women. However, there is a very specific agenda, although women are not the “subjects of peace” we are fundamental agents for it and there are examples. In this context of conflict, many efforts have been made for peace and life. We have seen this in neighborhoods of Caracas where there were clashes between violent gangs. Direct intervention by the mothers of young people who are part of these bands, has allowed the community to be pacified through their their maternal authority.

The vision of peace with social justice necessarily comes from women because they are free from violence. To ensure peace in the country, and to ensure sovereignty, justice and peace, we must overcome the patriarchal hegemonic model of sexist violence, of criminal, social, political and imperial violence. To avoid a scenario of negative peace, we must insist that this agenda has to have the structural elements that aim at overcoming class, gender and ethnic inequalities.

I believe that women have a leading role to play for the peace of the country, and for this all women must be the key subjects, with conditions of respect, equality, non-discrimination, plurality, multiculturality, respect for the National Constitution, defense of democracy, and of human rights.

We must start from the most pressing issue, which concerns the common defense of the right to life and dignity. We must avoid a fratricidal confrontation between sisters and brothers and ensure that no foreign army comes to threaten the dignity of Venezuelan women and the sovereignty of the Homeland.

I believe that peace building must have the feminist quality. It is the quality thatfeminism brings from its praxis, and from the accumulated historical and theoretical experience to the conception of peace and justice, against violence, against the warlike model that is intended to impose, which is a culture of dominance, a culture of power, a deeply patriarchal culture. The alternative to that hegemonic vision is that of feminism, is that of women. That is why I believe that what we have a lot to contribute. What we have to give for this construction of peace with social justice requires that society as a whole reconsiders its vision of women and feminizes peace as a strategic route framed in the ethics of care.

Venezuela: the culture of nonviolence is replicated in Petare


An article from Cronica Uno

The Diploma in Leadership and Management of the Culture of Peace and Nonviolence is in its second year of application. Cristian and Patri are among a score of boys (many of them already university students) who want to replicate the knowledge needed to attain the culture of peace at the Manuel Aguirre school, located in the neighborhood 24 de Marzo de Petare, Caracas.

“I am 19 years old and I am pleased”, says Cristian Chacón expressing with his body as well as words that he wants to help others and thus attain the culture of nonviolence.

He does social advocacy work. When he graduated from Bachiller he joined an organization called Une Futuro, which works in the formation of leaders with positive influence.

For two years he took part in the training. The first year was personal growth and in the second year, together with his classmates, he presented the project “Youth without diapers”, which was judged among the 10 best in Latin America.

Cristian wanted to continue training as a leader for the common good and so he entered the Diploma in Leadership and Management of the Culture of Peace and Nonviolence that is carried out with the partnership of the organizations Opportunity CA, Monte Ávila University, ReconciliAcción and Mujeres for Citizenship

(Continued in right column)

(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

(Continued from left column)

For five hours they give talks, shared tools, help develop life projects, and talk about how to achieve nonviolence, even living in a dangerous place.

“And we found that the students have dreams and that like us they want a better future for the country. What we do is show them with examples of life that this path can be reached and that communication reduces hostility, for example. I apply that with my family, I did it in my building and I have had results “, said Cristian.

The Manuel Aguirre School serves a population of 1200 students from First Grade to Fourth Year. You get there by going up La Bombilla, going through narrow streets, in which you can see children walking with bottles on their backs. “Violence is not only when there are weapons or drugs, also what is seen in the neighborhood with the failure of the services is a type of violence and many do not know how to channel that,” says Patri Carrasquel, 19, one of the social leaders that together with Cristian advance the program “Sé, Piensa, Haz Paz” in the sectors of the Sucre and El Hatillo municipalities.

She studied at the Madre Emilia school in Los Dos Caminos and became involved with the Pelicano religious-social movement, which consists of giving orientation and instilling values ​​to the children and providing social assistance in asylums and shelters.

Nowadays she is the national secretary of that movement, which is in five cities of the country and in Peru. “But I wanted to receive more leadership training to be able to continue helping and I found this environment where there are 50 young people doing this, creating awareness and supporting change”.

She is studying International Studies and is in the world of modeling. However, among her main objectives is social work.

All the youth seeking the diploma are scholars. 1200 dollars is paid by the European Community for each of them. The result is that they become agents of change and reconciliation, becoming citizens able to achieve alliances for community projects and create spaces for opportunities.

The next cohort of the diploma begins on June 12, lasts 12 academic hours. More information is available through the networks @oportunidadac, @mujeryciudadania, @peopleinneedcz and @ueenvenezuela.

Mexico: USEBEQ and UAQ train teachers in culture of peace


An article from El Queretano (Translation by CPNN)

In order that teachers, administrative and technical teachers of the state can advance in their studies and develop skills in conflict conciliation, assertive communication and culture of peace, a new diploma is being developed by USEBEQ [Unidad de Servicios para la Educación Basica en el Estado de Querétaro] and UAQ [Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro].

This is the diploma “History of Peace Studies, Human Rights and Peace”, aimed at teachers, technical technicians, managers, supervisors and technical pedagogical advisers in basic education.

(Continued in right column)

(Click here for the original Spanish version of this article.)

Question for this article:

Where is peace education taking place?

(Continued from left column)

The Director of Quality and Educational Innovation of the USEBEQ, said that the Diploma will allow participants to acquire skills in conflict conciliation, assertive communication, community building and education methodologies and culture of peace.

The State Secretary of Education promotes through the “Continuous Improvement Route” that teachers are trained to have additional pedagogical tools and knowledge. The goal is to benefit students of basic education with more teachers who are better prepared to develop their plans, programs and academic content, “said the official.

The official added that this program will train teachers to promote environments of respect and dignified treatment among students who are different, but equal in rights. The training improves relations and understanding based on respect, solidarity, justice and attachment to human rights.

This diploma is taught at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the UAQ, with a duration of 120 hours; of which 75 are face-to-face and 45 online. It will conclude on August 2 of this year with the participation of 36 basic education teachers.