Again this month Latin America and the Caribbean are at the forefront of the global movement for a culture of peace. At their second summit, held at the end of last month in Havana, the heads of state from these regions declared their region a "zone of peace." Among the numerous points in their declaration was the following: "The promotion in the region of a culture of peace based, inter alia, on the principles of the United Nations Declaration on a Culture of Peace".

In this same spirit of peace, the countries of Chile and Peru welcomed a World Court ruling on their maritime border dispute, saying that the ruling is a "triumph for peace and paves the way for cooperation and better links between two Latin American nations."

The countries of this region know well the devastation of the culture of war, and are taking steps to overcome it.

In Mexico, one of the most violent countries in the world, there is great progress in peace education. According to the renowned peace educator Johan Galtung, "At the national level an overarching program to prevent violence has been designed and enacted. . . it is a bold proposal, grounded in a legitimate peace philosophy. . . This top-down approach is then linked with efforts bottom-up from the ground level in the different regions."

In Colombia, long torn by civil war, the United Nations is helping with a program called "La Paz es mía" (Peace is mine). The UN official revealed that they decided to launch the campaign at Christmas for Colombians "to renew their faith in peace" as a "serious process that deserves support," referring to the talks between the government and the FARC guerrillas, which have been going on for more than a year in Havana.


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In Venezuela, recently rocked by demonstrations which seem to be aimed at toppling the government, President Maduro has "called on citizens to join the National Plan for Peace and Coexistence, which seeks to promote a culture of peace and reduce crime rates in the country."

In Haiti, where Cité Soleil has been plagued by socio-economic, political and security issues, a "Forum of reflection, which promotes dialogue and not the dialectic of arms" was hosted by the Minister of the Interior. He welcomed "the determination of organized groups, associations and citizens of Cité Soleil, who actively participated in the series of negotiations initiated by the Ministry of the Interior, that enabled to sit around the same table, representatives of different neighborhoods of Cité Soleil."

Perhaps most important in the long run are the many local initiatives for a culture of peace in Latin America. For example, Santos, Brazil, has established a City Peace Commission. According to the mayor of the city, "We have been carrying out actions since last year like the "Peace Wave", along the beach with the participation of thousands of Santistas. It is ever more important to stimulate such actions and to spread a culture of peace in the everyday life of the population."


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Please send us articles about the work of your organization and other culture of peace news. (see We look forward to hearing from you.

Peace, through struggle,

The CPNN Team