The Peace Brigades International, Guernica Peace Prize


An article by Iratxe Astui in El Correo

The Peace Brigades International (PBI) will receive this year the Guernica Prize for Peace and Reconciliation, which is awarded as part of the commemorative program of the acts of the bombing of the town by the German Condor Legion. The decision to recognize the work done by this non-governmental organization was made with the majority of the votes of the members of the jury table..

Members of the PBI during one of their observations. / E. C.

The jury is composed of representatives of the parties that make up the City Council -Eusko Abertzaleak, PNV and EH Bildu-, as well as the mayor of Pforzheim, a German city twinned with the town hall, the Gernika Gogoratuz Foundation, the House of Culture and the Museum of La Paz of the locality. They announced that the distinction responds “to the outstanding work carried out by the volunteers of the organization and their commitment to the defense of Human Rights.”

(Click here for the original article in Spanish.)

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Question for this article:

Can peace be guaranteed through nonviolent means?

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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The Peace Brigades International is a non-denominational and independent group, that sends international observers to be eyewitnesses in regions that are experiencing crisis and conflict situations. “These groups protect with their presence people threatened with death or kidnapping through political violence,” they explained. The peacekeeping forces of PBI have acted in Guatemala (1983-1999), El Salvador (1987-1992) and Sri Lanka (1989-1998), as well as in North America (1991-1999), East Tomor (1999-2002) and Haiti (1995-2000).

Likewise, they also developed their work in Northern Nicaragua, Central Africa (2004-2005) and at the World Uranium Hearing in 1992 in Salzburg. The organization is composed of volunteers who “work as a team.” “They live, conceive strategies, write reports and travel together.”

The jury of the Prizes for Peace and Reconciliation that will be awarded on April 26, also highlighted this year, within the section that distinguishes the anonymous work of the workers for basic peace, the work of the international project ‘Kids Guernica “This artistic initiative was created by three Japanese -Toshifumi Abe, Tdashi Yasuda and Kaoru Mizuguchi- and the American, Tom Anderson, in 1995 on the occasion of making a canvas commemorating the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima.

The mural project, in reference to the Guernica of Picasso, “has toured different countries on five continents with the aim of promoting a culture of peace among children around the world,” they explained. The regional town has a good number of works done in different parts of the planet.