Category Archives: Latin America

“Week for Peace 2021” Initiative for the consolidation of peace in Colombia


An article from Area Cucuta

The increase in femicides, domestic violence, murders against social leaders and the growth of poverty, indicates that the struggle in Colombia to achieve a healthy territory is still a challenge. For this reason, it is important that between September 5 and 12, version 34 of the “Week for Peace” will be held. The initiative of peace-building organizations of Colombian civil society, has, since 1987, made visible the daily effort of people , collectives and institutions that work in the construction and consolidation of peace, the redignification of the victims, the care and respect of life in and from the regions of the country.

The initiative invites people to find ways of reunion and solidarity for reconciliation with life and biodiversity. It includes the participation of the Truth Commission, National Secretariat for Social Pastoral, United Nations Verification Mission in Colombia, Center for Memory, Peace and Reconciliation (CMPR), Redepaz, Universidad Javeriana, the National Network of Regional Development Programs and Paz (Redprodepaz) and for the fourth consecutive year Compensar, among other organizations. The slogan is “The Truth we can !”
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(click here for the article in Spanish.).)

Question related to this article:

Truth Commissions, Do they improve human rights?

Can festivals help create peace at the community level?

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

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According to statistics from the Database of Collective Actions for Peace (Datapaz) of the Center for Popular Research and Education (CINEP / PPP), this is the month that historically presents the highest levels of mobilization and that between 1987 and 2016, most of the mobilizations (86%) were oriented to the promotion of peace. For this reason, this year it emphasizes the practices developed by individuals, groups, families, social organizations and communities, focused on truth and reconciliation. It shows how people organize themselves to re-signify and overcome the factors that generate violence, enable peaceful coexistence and commit all the actors in the conflict and civil society in improving the living conditions of the community.

“We are convinced that reconciliation is the best way to rebuild the social fabric, in a year impacted by the pandemic and by historical social demands. For this reason, in order to make visible the different collective initiatives of integral well-being that are had, Compensar is committed to the development of the country with different programs to attend early childhood in rural territories, complementary school days in Bogotá, Soacha, Caparrapí, Yacopí, La Palma and La Peña or programs for the elderly in Caparrapí. In this way, it will be possible to consolidate a culture of peace ”, assured Margarita Añez, director of Compensar’s Welfare and Social Development Unit.

In this line, the Week for Peace aims to describe the main tasks of peacebuilding and defense of human rights that must be promoted at the moment in the country, in accordance with the moment of legitimate social protest that Colombia is experiencing, the The Covid-19 pandemic, the final report that the Truth Commission has been preparing, and the progress and difficulties in the implementation of the Peace Agreement, both in public institutions and in civil groups of ex-combatants, victims and society in general. .

In this way, it will be recognized as a process that requires commitments and agreements, which are woven in a differential and multiscale way from the different social, community and territorial processes committed to the defense of human rights, human dignity and the comprehensive implementation of the agreement. of peace, having as a fundamental axis the work carried out by the Truth Commission.

Thus, the formation of a more equitable society will be achieved for the construction of a plural, participatory and lasting peace, with a view to national reconciliation.

The Páramo de Sumapaz, will be the scene of Colombian cinema festival


An article from El Cine Suma Paz

The protection of the environment, citizen participation and the culture of peace will be the main themes of the first edition of the International Festival El Cine Suma Paz.

The festival will take place from September 10 to 25 with 10 face-to-face stages and a worldwide access platform to the festival’s contents for training, creation, transmission, promotion and circulation of audiovisual and cinematographic content.

Bogotá, DC, August 2021. The last great páramo in the world, El Páramo de Sumapaz, will be the setting for the first edition of the International Film Festival “El Cine Suma Paz” which aims to generate spaces for reflection through cinema that allow the discussion on the protection of the environment and the culture of peace to be shared by an international audience.

(Editor’s note. The scene, the Páramo de Sumapaz, is a unique high-altitude ecosystem in Colombia, above the tree line.)

On this occasion, the programming has been carried out in a hybrid way from September 10 to 25, with face-to-face and virtual activities. This project was born as an initiative of the Social Cinema Foundation with stories about the protection of the environment and the culture of peace.

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(Click here for the Spanish original.)

Questions related to this article:
What is the relation between the environment and peace

Film festivals that promote a culture of peace, Do you know of others?

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The first edition of the Festival will feature international exhibitions, academic spaces and an official selection made up of 80 films from around the world that positions cinema as a tool that raises awareness about the protection of the environment and the culture of peace among humans and the ecosystems that surround it.

It should be noted that this festival takes place in a complex social context, in a country that has seen more than 100 assassinated social leaders. “The Suma Paz Cinema is a space with which we seek to reaffirm our commitment to environmental education, with the defense of the environment and with the people who fight for social and environmental transformations, from different parts of the world,” said Cristhian Ossa, Director of the Social Cinema Foundation.

“We believe that this is a great opportunity to make visible the stories of the community and the relationship between the protection of our environment and the culture of peace. In these times where Colombians go through such a deep division, we need to generate bridges of communication and dialogue between us, in addition to nourishing ourselves with experiences related to the themes of the festival where the world has already explored historical paths and solutions, which sometimes we do not know. and make it impossible to implement them in our daily lives. ” Ossa added.

One of the films within the framework of the festival is Pico de Plata, which tells the story of a group of peasants who fought a historical battle to protect the Pico de Plata hill from mining in Fusagasugá . This short film will premiere on September 10 at the Festival’s opening ceremony.

Within the framework of the festival there will be exhibitions of the films in the communities that make up the Province of Sumapaz, Municipalities of Cundinamarca and the city of Bogotá, in the same way, during the development of the festival, there will be a platform that will allow to reproduce the films and the contents of the festival without any cost in any country of the world.

For more information visit

Colombia: Beginning September 5, Cartagena will celebrate the Week for Peace


An article from Caracol

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2021 as the International Year of Peace and Trust, in order to encourage member states, agencies belonging to the United Nations system and various civil society organizations to continue the efforts to promote a culture of peace and trust among nations, through political dialogue, mutual understanding and cooperation. This is in accordance with the provisions of the Declaration and Program of Action on a Culture of Peace.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

(Click here for the original article in Spanish.)

Questions related to this article:

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

On this occasion, the councils of peace, reconciliation, coexistence and human rights of Cartagena and Bolívar joined in a joint agenda that will allow the enjoyment of a series of cultural, academic and city events that will be broadcast virtually and in person with the aim that both children, youth and adults get involved in a culture of peace and city building.

The first cycle of delivery of food packages to the elderly has ended
This joint programming is made up of activities led by the different sectors of civil society that make up both councils, with the participation also in the Cartagena District of the secretary of the interior in charge of David Múnera Cavadía.

The programming will begin from September 1 and will connect with the week for peace in its 34th version that begins from the 5 of this month and has as a national message the phrase “truth that we can”; then through various symbolic acts it will run until September 25, a whole month dedicated to building peace and trust in the territory.

Bogota, Colombia: Youth trained as facilitators of peace and reconciliation


An article from the Web site of Bogotá

Thanks to the coordination of the District Education Secretariat, ACDI / VOCA (North American NGO) and the Fe y Alegría Foundation, 110 students and two teachers from the towns of Kennedy and Bosa graduated as facilitators of peace and reconciliation.

This initiative that began in November 2020 was carried out under the guidelines of the ECO Program – Protective and Reliable Educational Environments, with the purpose of contributing to the construction of the District’s ecosystem of peace and reconciliation.

District Network of Facilitators for Peace and Reconciliation

As a result of this exercise, the District Network of Facilitators for Peace and Reconciliation was formed, which includes students from the Soledad Acosta de Samper, Germán Arciniegas, Ciudadela Educativa, El Porvenir, Japan and Tom Adams schools from the localities of Bosa and Kennedy.

“Schools are living and fundamental centers for social transformation, so we work to strengthen them. This group is a pioneer in the constitution of the network and, without a doubt, it will not be the last group with which we hope to advance in the local construction of peace ”, highlighted Rocío Olarte Tapia, director of Relations with the Private Educational Sector of the Ministry of Education .

(Click here for the original article in Spanish.)

Questions related to this article:

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

For this, a process involved 144 students and two teachers from these schools. The call was held openly, aimed mainly at students between grades 5 to 9, with an interest in transforming the relationship of the educational institution with the territory to which they belong and contributing to the construction of a culture of peace in their environment, on the basis of dialogue, respect and empathy.

During 15 weeks sessions were held aimed at enhancing their capacities and commitments for the strengthening of peace and reconciliation. The pedagogical strategies reflected on the daily experiences in each of their environments as a central element to understand the process in the local context.

Trained in peace and reconciliation

In this training process the participants addressed issues such as the management and transformation of conflicts, the construction of a culture of peace, the recognition and appreciation of diversity and the prevention of all forms of gender-based violence, among others.

In the case of participating teachers, the scope of their actions will be reflected in the framework of their role within the educational institution.

“The commitment to replicate is fundamental, not only in educational institutions, but in all everyday spaces where learning from the network can be made visible. From the Secretariat, our commitment is to continue working in the construction of peace ”, said the director of Relations with the Private Educational Sector.

The ECO Program will provide continuity and support to the Network of Educational Institutions that contribute to the District’s Peace and Reconciliation Ecosystem, including replication in more locations in Bogotá from a new cycle of the training process during 2022.

It is expected that more institutional and social sectors will join this project and contribute to the construction of the city.

Different religions come together to pray for peace in Peru


An article in El Comercio (translation by CPNN)

The Interreligious Council of Peru has released a video where representatives of various faiths share a prayer for peace in the country. The participants asked for harmony and a favorable future for all Peruvians.

the video – click to play

Raquel Gago, deputy executive secretary of the Interreligious Council of Peru, pointed out that this organization is a space for meeting, dialogue and fraternity among the religious communities of Peru.

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

Question related to this article:

How can different faiths work together for understanding and harmony?

“This union of creeds encourages and promotes action for justice, peace, solidarity and care for creation,” she mentions at the beginning of the video.

“May this prayer serve to reflect on the importance of developing a culture of peace, justice and integrity,” she adds.

This prayer was attended by high representatives of the Brahma Kumaris Spiritual Organization, the Soto Zen Peru Buddhist Community, the Islamic Association of Peru, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Orthodox Church of Antioquia, the Interfaith Network of Women of Faith and Spirituality .

Also participating were the Evangelical Presbyteran and Reformed Church in Peru, the Lutheran Church of Peru, the Anglican Church of Peru, the National Union of Evangelical Christian Churches of Peru, the Jewish Association of Peru and the Archbishop of Arequipa, Monsignor Piñeiro, among others.

Mediation Forum of the Vice-Government of Ceará promotes discussion for a culture of peace


An article from Ceará, Governo de Estado (translation by CPNN)

The Vice-Government of Ceará, through its State Forum of Mediation, Restorative Justice and Culture of Peace, promoted a debate this Tuesday morning (June 29) on the use of laboratories, meetings and other peaceful devices to improve the society. The event was held remotely and attended by around 50 people, who were able to participate, ask questions and have a voice in the discussion.

Among those present at the meeting were: Cristiane Holanda, coordinator of the Restorative Justice and Mediation Coordination of the Vice-Government of Ceará; Cida Medeiros, journalist and facilitator and lawyer; and Luis Zubcov, scholar of peace dynamics.

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(Click here for the article in Portuguese)

Questions for this article:

The culture of peace at a regional level, Does it have advantages compared to a city level?

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Cristiane Holanda commented on the importance of the Forum and its monthly meetings. “Our forum tries to be democratic, participatory. We want to creat together a new model of living, being, within a society that is ethically just.”

In his speech, Luis Zubcov highlighted the need for more participative listeners in everyday interaction. “The active role of the listener is very important. Someone who is not just a passive observer, but an active one who can make a difference within the content they receive. The word is 50% of those who speak and 50% of those who listen.”

State Mediation Forum

The State Forum of Mediation acts as a partner of the Pact for a Ceará Pacific and is composed of 35 bodies and institutions, among which are: Public Ministry (MPCE), General Public Defender of Ceará, OAB, Court of Justice (TJCE), in addition of the Vice-Governor’s Office. Meetings take place every month.

Institutions wishing to participate in the Forum should contact the Vice-Governor’s Mediation Coordination at (85) 3459.6116.

Experts identify 3 pillars for the «reunification» of Bolivians


An article by Nancy Castro in eju! (translation by CPNN)

The deactivation of “polarizing discourses” and the creation of an effective space for peace through the media is one of the three conclusions of the “International Seminar of Experiences for the Encounter”, organized by the Vice-Presidency of the State, United Nations and International Cooperation. The event, which took place on June 22 and 29, set out the objective of generating spaces for dialogue to strengthen peaceful coexistence in diversity.

The Vice President of the State, David Choquehuanca, in the closing speech, referred to the crucial role played by the media. “The role that the media has to play is very important, some perceptions have been gathered that the media, in some cases, like to feed the confrontation, they are looking for contradictions,” said Choquehuanca.

The other two pillars are “political will” and an “inclusive and participatory” agenda.

Regarding the first pillar, it was highlighted that the role of the government and civil society organizations is fundamental to promote a dialogue beyond differences. “Political will is essential for the construction of spaces for dialogue. We must become aware that the reunification is not just an event, but a sustained process over time, which requires the decided commitment of the leaders, “concluded one of the working groups.

The second pillar aims to open participatory meetings with an agenda that reflects the diversity of the country focused on common challenges, such as the fight against discrimination, inequalities and the eradication of violence. “The challenge is to avoid the monopolization of the debate in political spaces.”

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

Question related to this article:

How can we develop the institutional framework for a culture of peace?

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Regarding the third pillar, the experts emphasized finding a favorable context for dialogue, “deactivating polarizing discourses”, and giving more space to voices that seek to build and achieve a peaceful equilibrium, a task for which the media is partly responsible.

“It is important to understand that our problems are deep and that working on these issues requires first, deactivating the feeling of threat to enable our voices,” concluded another of the work sessions.


On Tuesday, June 22, the first was held with international participants including Rigoberta Menchú Tum, 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner, who explained that peace is not built only in meetings, but that it is necessary to build a culture of peace.

For her part, Vera Grabe, politician, ex-guerrilla commander and member of the Observatory for Peace in Colombia, stressed that peace is more than a speech, a policy, a matter for politicians, since what is really required is to dismantle violence in our practices.

There was also the participation of Carlos Borth, who spoke about the political agreements for the institutional reform of 1993, Griselda Torrico who spoke about the conflict of boundaries between the communities of Coroma and Quillacas and Carlos Romero, who related his experience around of the constituent agreements that made a new Political Constitution viable in 2009.

The participants presented their conclusions based on the experiences of national and international experts, which were received by Choquehuanca and Susana Sottoli, resident coordinator of the United Nations System in Bolivia, to build a proposal for a “National Process for the Reunification”.

Choquehuanca in his intervention made it clear that the representatives of international organizations and ambassadors of the countries are not there to please the Government and the Bolivian people. Neither is the central level of the State there to please these foreign representations and legations.

“We have become aware that we can contribute, from our embassies, as people, as professionals, as representatives or as authorities to build unity, to build brotherhood, to contribute to the construction of peace.”

During the post-electoral conflicts of 2019, members of the citizen platforms that denounced electoral fraud decided to peacefully take over state radio and television. At that time people accused these media of lying, misinforming and fueling the confrontation.

Argentina: Teachers lead national strategy for Comprehensive Environmental Education


An article by Graciela Mandolini from Education International

We live in a historical time in which all kinds of emergencies are constantly being played out: environmental, climate, energy, health, economic … All of these converge in what many authors define as the crisis of civilization. The environmental agenda has been setting the pace and environmental conflicts have burst into school settings, appearing with unprecedented speed and persistence.

If we understand education as a process that is permanently under construction, we could say that teachers in Argentina are carrying out some important actions in terms of comprehensive environmental education. These include interventions in curricular designs, as well as in projects and programs aimed at incorporating the environmental dimension for sustainable development as part of teaching-learning proposals.

Teacher and Union Training School

For 25 years, the Confederación de Trabajadores de la Educación de la República Argentina (CTERA) [Educational Workers Confederation of the Argentine Republic] has generated teacher training processes in Environmental Education: postgraduate courses and specializations in environmental education for sustainable development, in cooperation with public universities, face-to-face meetings with in-service teachers, projects, programs and actions on environmental education for secondary school students and teachers… practical, recreational and learning activities have also been organized, such as planting trees, composting activities, etc.

The union has worked with dedication on a project aimed at creating spaces for building knowledge in order to promote a dialogue of knowledge and skills development, consolidating teacher training at all levels and modalities of the formal educational system, so as to promote environmental education for sustainable development.

This issue has been one of the fundamental pillars of the training activities promoted by our organization’s “Marina Vilte” Teacher and Union Training School.

Initially, in the late 1990s, CTERA produced a training proposal for an Advanced Specialization Course in Environmental Education for sustainable development, in cooperation with a public university that offered lectures nationally through its grassroots entities. In the training space, more than 4,000 teachers specialized in Environmental Education.

Pandemic and environmental education

During 2020, as we moved through the stages of isolation and later of social distancing, whilst tackling the pandemic, a pedagogical proposal was drawn up based on training itineraries and paths, to consider different theories and concepts on the issue affecting us.

Firstly, through mechanisms designed for this purpose, the CTERA Education Secretariat and various grassroots entities offered training opportunities using the co-self-assisted methodology, so that teachers felt this was an invitation to study and an occasion for lifelong learning, without feeling pressured to meet requirements that could create an overload of teaching work. These training formats made it possible to reflect on educational practice, based on personal interests and motivations and in a self-regulated manner.

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(Click here for the article in French or here for the article in Spanish

Question for this article:

What are good examples of environmental education?

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Secondly, and in coordination with the INFoD (National Teacher Training Institute), CTERA further developed the proposal, moving towards creating a tutored course.

In both situations, it was felt necessary to consider the particular conditions that lead to problematizing the Teacher Training curriculum, based on the situations it addresses and analyzes, the complexity of associated trends and the practices of meaning, intervention, research, outreach and transcendence, which allow it to interact in and with the communities of origin.

Pino Solanas Law

The National Congress of Argentina recently approved the National Law of Comprehensive Environmental Education. This law, named after the Argentine filmmaker, Pino Solanas, proposes a “permanent, crosscutting and comprehensive” national public policy for all educational establishments in the country. It covers the interdependence of all the elements that make up and interact in the environment; respecting and valuing biodiversity; equity; recognizing cultural diversity; caring for our natural and cultural heritage and exercising the right to a healthy environment.

The law proposes the establishment of a National Strategy for Comprehensive Environmental Education. It promotes the creation and development of Jurisdictional Strategies and raises the issue of an Intergenerational Environmental Commitment. It also provides for the implementation, on the educational agenda, of actions to improve institutions. It affirms that any educational proposal must be based on educating young people and children. This project clearly establishes a public policy that reinforces the paradigm of citizen participation for sustainability.

Environmental education, education for life

We believe that any environmental education proposal, project or program for sustainable development that we carry out must, without question, interact with history, trajectories, institutional projects, stakeholders, local and regional projections, that will give it meaning and make it unique.

Environmental Education, based on the paradigm of Latin American Environmental Thought, makes it possible for the community’s knowledge to be discussed, thus recovering its voices, trajectories, expectations, experiences, demands, concerns and proposals, in order to highlight environmental conflicts in the territory, dismantling naturalized practices on a daily basis, generating dialogue and linking different disciplinary knowledge so as to reimagine and alter our practices.

CTERA sees Environmental Education for sustainable development as the establishment of environmental criteria, as raising awareness about environmental conflicts, understanding environmental complexity, as creativity, wonder, empathy; it means thinking in an inter-connected manner; learning as you live and learning from life.

It is a conceptual proposal that is interwoven and integrated with methodological work. That is why how we make the content available, the way we present work dynamics and proposals, and encourage participation is very important. This includes:

* Recreational activities that allow us to express our sensations, emotions, and feelings, our mind-body thoughts

* Actions that make it possible to develop proposals where identity is expressed in an artistic and creative way.

* Ancestral ceremonies that occur, highlighting the need to re-connect with nature, recognizing ourselves as children of Mother Earth.
Taking part in tree planting, composting, recycling, materials recovery, camping activities, etc.

The didactic strategies that we can use as environmental education workers to address the issues, problems and conflicts that affect and challenge us, are under continuous construction. In this process, much searching is done to ensure culture and nature, teachers, students, schools and the community support each other, generating creative processes committed to reality, promoting the construction of teaching – learning processes aimed at creating a society based on environmental, social and, of course, curricular justice.

(Thank you to Phyllis Kotite, the CPNN reporter for this article.)

The 3rd Latin American Congress of Restorative Justice closed with more than 4,400 registered participants


An article published by El Litoral (translation by CPNN)

On Saturday [June 12] the closing day of the 3rd Latin American Congress of Restorative Justice took place in a format that was entirely virtual. During the three days of the event, there were more than 60 exhibitors from various countries: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Honduras, Uruguay, Bolivia, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Great Britain.

On the last day there were keynote conferences by Austen Ivereigh entitled “How to get out of the crisis – the message of Pope Francis in Soñemos Juntos” and by Roberto Pérez “Forgiveness as a way to repair and restore the social fabric, the bond personal and with others “.

Other panels during this day included (9) Socialization of restorative experiences: advocacy for democratic and inclusive communities and (10) The Restorative Pedagogy and Culture of Peace. And, finally, the Ombudsman of Santa Fe [Argentina], Raúl Lamberto, and the Ombudsman General of Lomas de Zamora [Argentina], Eduardo Germán Bauché, gave a final word.

PANEL 9: Socialization of restorative experiences

Panel 9 had as its axis the Socialization of restorative experiences: advocacy for democratic and inclusive communities, and featured lectures by Esteban Ramos from the National Autonomous University of Honduras; Natalia Cuenca, member of the “Wheels of Coexistence” program of the Ministry of Education of the province of Santa Fe; and Silvia Vecchi, Jessica Name and Sergio Pepe, who presented the interdisciplinary judicial experience in the province of Tierra del Fuego. The table was coordinated by the member of the Latin American Institute of the Ombudsman Ana Agostino.

Kicking off the panel, Esteban Ramos spoke and addressed the importance and conclusions of the training programs developed in Honduras as a contribution to the culture of peace: “Public policies are empty without the entire population participating in them, if the recipients of these policies are not considered subjects ”.

“We developed a training program focused on peace education at the University of Honduras where we work on axes related to peace and conflict resolution, to train citizens committed to pacifist practices,” he said and added: “Its content is related with the training components: training workshops; actions based on peace composed of work phases; and the community coexistence seen with the visit to the rural community of Honduras ”.

Finally, he stated that “since Honduras is one of the most violent countries in the world, being a cross-cutting issue in Honduran society, our training programs are very important for creating a reflective space for coexistence in which those who participate can debate without fear of being judged “, and he concluded “We develop dynamic spaces to think and feel what is happening. It is a practice with each other within the program, but which are applicable to the socialization of each of the participants outside the program ”.

Then, it was the turn of Natalia Cuenca, who explained the public policy “Wheels of coexistence” that is applied in part of public secondary schools in Santa Fe [Argentina]: “We address these provincial programs and plans to guarantee the pillars of education such as inclusion and educational quality, to be able to think of school as a place of life, as a place to learn to live in the common ”.

“The Coexistence Wheels are a device that tries to democratize the institution of the school, through meetings where secondary students socialize their perceptions about school conflicts, and propose peaceful resolutions,” he explained and deepened: “They have horizontality as a point and seek improve coexistence in the classroom through dialogue. Thus the educational communities elaborate their coexistence plans, and the student is the protagonist of the legalities that govern them, which makes him part of them ”.

Closing the panel, Silvia Vecchi, Jessica Name and Sergio Pepe made a joint presentation on their role of contributing to social peace, taking clear action to achieve these objectives: “It is of great importance to be critical and identify the shortcomings to the time of not being able to resolve certain situations because, for example, a criminal court can prevent a conflict from being reconciled “.


“Perhaps the tools are not available when dealing with a victim who has vulnerabilities, that is why we believe that the values ​​and premises of Restorative Justice allow us tools that improve and humanize these processes”, they highlighted and maintained: “We must rely on, for example, the Directorate of Alternative Methods that help us provide tools for certain conflicts to know when the application of the traditional criminal law may fail to solve the conflict.”

They also explained that “public policies on access to justice are promoted as important places in developments for the transformation of culture and the pacifying possibilities of society”, and invited “members of society in general and even to our colleagues who need to talk to reflect, to dialogue with each other’s own experience, to think about possible personal and common itineraries. We encourage everyone to talk to each other seeking shared interests and to address differences ”.

Finally, they emphasized that “we must make criminal justice the application of last resort. There are other ways that we cn activate and connect with each other to resolve a social conflict sooner.”

PANEL 10: Restorative Pedagogy and Culture of Peace

Panel 10 was called The Restorative Pedagogy and Culture of Peace and was attended by Celia Maria Oliveira Passos from the Institute of Advanced Solutions of Brazil; and Rodolfo Nuñez from Network and Community Work at the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of the Argentine Nation. The panel was coordinated by Pablo Noel, president of the Buenos Aires Province Magistrate College.

Rodolfo Nuñez analyzed the experience of social networks and restorative justice, and in that sense he stressed that “there are many points of connection between the two since both force us to understand that there are heterogeneous units, diversity of experiences, knowledge, understanding and trajectories already existing. There are plots that pre-exist us, we must abandon the belief that we create the networks ”.

He continued, “We have to get out of the judicial field to realize that the subjects are crossed by that knowledge, understanding, different experiences and that all are influenced in some way by public policies.” And to access that pre-existing knowledge we must create spaces of dialogue with other plots, which we must do with restorative justice as well ”.

Through a presentation he spoke of the community of links, which “must establish interactions between plots to understand adolescents in situations of socio-criminal vulnerability. One of them, for example, is to do community work on the same situation. In our experience working in an area of ​​high social vulnerability we were able to realize that this community has very little detailed knowledge of the State”.

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(Click here for the original article in Spanish)

Discussion questions

Restorative justice, What does it look like in practice?

Mediation as a tool for nonviolence and culture of peace

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“Participants in the intervention must have a rights approach, there must be voluntariness, a community approach, territorial and local management, and it must be inter-agency. Today there are those who question voluntariness, I think it is wrong, voluntariness should not be ignored because young people have things to say, you have to listen to them. It is a restorative practice,” he concluded.

[Editor’s note: the principle of voluntariness is that which “provides that all those involved in a mediation process should have the absolute freedom to decide if they want to be or not parts of it. This translates into two aspects: first, the willingness to enter a mediation, and second, the freedom to remain in it or withdraw from the process at any time.”]

For her part, Celia María Oliveira Passos invited us to think “what is restorative justice, what type of restorative justice are we talking about”, and stated: “Restorative justice is built according to the communities, the spaces, culture, there is no single definition. Each one understands it from their world, from their perspective, so it is necessary to create new spaces to study it ”.

This introduction served to advance around the four waves that can be differentiated in restorative justice and its links with neuroscience and quantum physics: “The first two waves in restorative justice include the restoration of damage, response to pain or offense, the third wave brings us new challenges, to think of restorative justice as a way of life, a philosophy of life, as a way of being, and the fourth wave demands that we understand the current world as a cry for social justice, of outrage at inequalities “.

Regarding the link between neuroscience and restorative justice, she explained that emotions “cannot be foreseen, they arrive, arise and dominate the brain, the organism emanates adrenaline, under tension a person loses the ability to reason. On the other hand, when hormonal reactions such as oxytocin appear, there is a better procedure, there is a better reaction. When there is dialogue, when there is empathy, we can expect peaceful reactions ”.

Plenary speeches

The first of the lectures was given by Austen Ivereigh and was entitled “How to get out of the crisis: the message of Pope Francis in Let’s Dream Together”. The presentation focused on the journalist’s conversation with Pope Francis about the content of the pontiff’s publication.

He explained, “The book is divided into three parts that follow the classic dynamics of Latin American Catholicism, which is to see, judge and act or how the Pope prefers to reformulate it, contemplate, discern and propose. Contemplating and seeing is important because you have to see reality as it is and accept it as it is, the second step is to discern or choose and choosing is to see what humanizes us and what dehumanizes us, to see the good and to see the bad, and the third step is to act where we can propose ways of acting that reflect these new awareness of values ​​”.

“When the church speaks of the preferential option for the poor, it means that we must always take into account the impact on the poor of the decisions we make, but it also means that we must put the poor at the center of our way of thinking”, He continued: “The most moving part of the book has to do with something that you will remember, when the Pope was still in Buenos Aires as Archbishop he organized a mass every year in June in the Constitution Square of Buenos Aires and the periphery would come there”. “It says in the book that he felt the good spirit before that praying crowd, which reminded him of the humble people who followed Jesus, he says that the people always carry a promise in their hearts, an invitation that makes them walk towards something they desire despite the marginalization they suffer. The preaching of Jesus evoked ancient promises they carried in their entrails, in their blood, an ancestral awareness of the closeness of God and their own dignity, for that reason they followed Jesus because he gave them dignity ”.

The coordination of both conferences was in charge of María de los Ángeles Pesado Ricardi, a member of the General Defender of Lomas de Zamora [Argentina], who thanked Ivereigh for his participation and gave the floor to Pérez.

In turn, Roberto Perez spoke about “Forgiveness as a way to repair and restore the social fabric, the personal bond and with others:” I am convinced that we are in a moment of re-evolution of consciousness. It is about jumping to another level of conscience that humanity needs to continue to exist. And that is why, in this re-evolution of conscience, there is a path that we must never forget, and that is that generally the situations that surround us are fraught with tension and violence. ”

“There is a well-known saying: ‘Dad, if we kill all the bad guys, do we get all the good guys? No, son, we are all murderers.’ Changes are not made with violence, they are made with education. To hold an event like this is to believe in Peace, it is to believe that changes are not made with violence without education.” “ Forgiveness is the fundamental key to maintain the social fabric of community, of family. All agents of justice must have an attitude that allows for forgiveness, and forgiveness can be generated when the people who are participating in conflict situations carry this attitude of hospitality within them ”.

To conclude, Pérez pointed out that “to be able to forgive, to achieve peace, you need to love. And in this violent society we have to go back to this concept of Plato, who says that to love is to want the good. What is good? Good is the full development of what I love. Therefore to love is to want my own good and the good of others ”.

Congress closing

At the closing of the Congress, and outside the planned program, the Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Province of Buenos Aires, Sergio Torres, said that “sometimes it is not enough to be right, but it is also necessary to be many and this confernce is a good example.”

“The concept of restorative justice has an extremely valuable aspect which is the role of the victim. With the appearance of the nation states and the expropriation of criminal action by the states the victim began to disappear, first languished and then disappeared” , he recapitulated and added: “The role of the State, instead of aiding the victim, diluted her, transformed her into someone anonymous and made her disappear.”

Finally, he highlighted that “this logic of restorative processes that are used successfully to address and resolve some conflicts and damages in different contexts and settings such as families, neighborhoods, schools, sports, places the victim in a central position.”

Later, Raúl Lamberto spoke, after thanking all the participants and organizers of the event, remarked that “the book that we presented yesterday is a paradigmatic change that we need and should be posted on the pages of all the organizers so that it is available of all ”, and emphasized:“ It is necessary that the restorative culture be developed, known and practiced ”.

Finally, he valued: “This congress has a virtue, no one was asked how they thought, where they came from, what their ideology was, what their spirituality was, but they asked if they shared the idea of ​​restoration as an idea of ​​a new and modern practice to deal with conflict ”.

Finally, Eduardo Germán Bauché remarked that “surely there were exhibitors outside of this program who we would have liked to hear. I invite you to the 4th Latin American Congress of Restorative Justice that will be held on August 4, 5 and 6, 2022.”, He concluded, “I am grateful, happy and convinced that the future will bear the fruit of what we are sowing today, here, in each home and in our daily tasks ”.

Mexico City prepares third culture of peace meeting


An article from Prensa Latina

Mexico City is preparing to celebrate the Third Culture Meeting of Peace from June 12 to 25 this year through the social program “Cultivating Art and Culture in Tlalpan,” the organizers reported today.

A poster from Cronica Jalisco

In a press release they indicate that the program will start with a series of activities broadcast on the social networks of the mayor of Tlalpan – one of the 13 municipalities that make up the Mexican capital. It will include three segments: videos, talks and a course-workshop , as well as the presentation of a documentary.

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(Click here for the Spanish original of this article)

Questions for this article:

How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

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The organizers explain that there will be talks, conferences, children’s forums, audiovisuals, debates around Covid-19 and its effects on children, public space and community cultural life.

Human rights personalities, the academy of institutions such as Mexico City, the Autonomous University, the Spain Cultural Center and the Ministry of Culture, as well as local cultural managers from Querétaro and Michoacán, among others, will actively participate in the 13 days of culture.

The Mayor’s Office of Tlalpan, through the Subdirectorate of the Arts and Crafts Centers, attached to the General Directorate of Cultural Rights where this unprecedented meeting was born, will raise the issue of how the confinement has affected children, as well as vulnerable groups and what are their consequences.

They will also include the importance that art, the culture of peace, the public space have for people’s daily lives, in these moments of virtuality and massive confinement.

Other aspects to explore are the types of social relationships and affections developed by those who are in contact and in communication with some cultural or artistic social program, online during confinement, compared to those who are not.

This third Culture of Peace meeting will have the participation of Nashieli Ramírez, president of the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City, and numerous professors and researchers specializing in childhood issues and public space.