Rebuilding the social fabric and the culture of peace in Mexico


An article from National Autonomous University of Mexico

Rebuilding the social fabric and the culture of peace in Mexico necessarily requires respect for human rights and legality, as well as reducing inequality and controlling types of violence, agreed experts gathered at the UNAM.

When closing the work of the Permanent Seminar on Social Sciences (SEPERCIS) 2023 “Reflections of the contemporary world, the reconstruction of the social fabric and the culture of peace”, the General Secretary of the National University, Patricia Dávila Aranda, reported that members of the 14 academic career committees participated, along with representatives of civil society organizations. “This was wise, because they broadened their views and had a more inclusive vision.”

“I am sure that each and everyone learned and heard something that will allow them to move forward on this important issue. Without a doubt, paths were built for the future, because that is why we meet, discuss and hold these types of seminars,” she pointed out.

She hoped that in subsequent meetings more voices from society would be integrated because “there is room for all of us at the University. The more groups and different ways of thinking we are related to in academic work, the more we will learn and the better we can build.”

Dávila Aranda explained that during the 18 sessions methodologies were analyzed, experiences of community and territorial interventions were shared, and theoretical approaches were addressed to provide elements for the understanding and relevance of the reconstruction of the social fabric and the culture of peace.

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(click here for the original version in Spanish).

Questions for this article:

Is there progress towards a culture of peace in Mexico?

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She highlighted that the social sciences have a range of training and specialists in different topics, and at this event they analyzed them from a multidisciplinary perspective, in order to improve social interactions, mental health, human rights, care, resilience and mediation, among other topics.

Enduring values

“In various definitions, peace is understood as a situation without armed struggle, in harmony, without confrontations or conflicts. We relate it to a concept of war, but it is not limited to that, rather it means the opposite of all types of violence,” emphasized the former head of the University Human Rights Program, Luis Raúl González Pérez.

“Peace refers to well-being, inner tranquility, having basic needs such as food, security and correct development covered. It is talked about based on justice, which generates positive and lasting values capable of integrating people, politically and socially, that respond satisfactorily to human needs.”

“That is, inalienable guarantees must be the guiding axis for the construction of societies that live in peace,” said the former president of the National Human Rights Commission.

“However, the 2023 National Public Security Victimization Survey of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography indicates that 60.5 percent of the population over 18 years of age consider insecurity to be one of the most important problems that burdens us,” he said.

“In 2022, 27.4 percent of people in Mexican households had at least one of their members as a victim of crime. In addition, 21.1 million people were victims of some crime,” he noted.

On this occasion, the president of the Human Rights Commission of Mexico City, Nashieli Ramírez Hernández, pointed out that in the country there is a breakdown in the social fabric that we must rebuild, based on a reality where violence and conflict prevail.

“It is essential,” he added,”to build strategies with the objective of achieving a culture of peace; For this it is necessary to enter into the discussion around this concept which is approached from the dichotomy of peace and war. We must move beyond that logic to observe it as a real strategy that can be applied in scenarios like the current one. We must recover the concepts of restorative justice that are based on dialogue.”

Among the strategies to achieve it and rebuild the social fabric, Ramírez Hernández mentioned the transformation of narratives, participation, communication, reinforced protection for priority attention groups and reworking of restorative justice mechanisms.