Tag Archives: Latin America

Mexico: UAA inaugurates the CONEICC 2024 Meeting “Communicating for a culture of peace”

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article May 16 from the Universidad autónoma de Aguascalientes (translation by CPNN)

The Autonomous University of Aguascalientes, through the Center for Social Sciences and Humanities and in coordination with the National Council for Research in Communication Sciences (CONEICC), carried out the inauguration of the National Meeting for Communication Students 2024 “Communicate for a culture of peace”, an important communication event that brings together around 700 students from 15 different universities in the country.

Within the framework of the inauguration of this event, Dr. Sandra Yesenia Pinzón Castro, rector of the UAA, referred to the theme of this year’s edition. She pointed out that peace, although the most verbally collective goal, longed for in history, is an issue quickly forgotten, whether in domestic, public, or political contexts, both nationally and internationally.

In that sense, Dr. Pinzón recognized that, to achieve organic and lasting peace at all levels and contexts, it is first necessary to carry out an individual self-criticism examination. In the family context or in the case of each profession and activities such as students, teachers, administrators, managers, or specifically as journalists, one must be careful how information is disseminated, in order to avoid. actions such as offenses, omissions or distorted information that harm individuals and the social fabric itself.

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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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The rector expressed that regarding the slogan of “communicating for a culture of peace”, the meeting provides a favorable space to talk directly and indirectly about this topic, with the various perspectives of over forty specialists in communication, culture for non-violence and equity.

Dr. Sandra Yesenia recognized that the Autonomous University is fortunate to be the venue and co-organizer of this National Meeting of Communication Students, because it represents an invaluable opportunity to add reviews, proposals and commitments, in order to get closer to that still distant, but very, very longed for culture of peace and non-violence.

In the opening event, Dr. Ana María Navarro Casillas, head of the Communication Department of the UAA, expressed that these days of work should contribute to nurturing and continuing the academic professionalization of the university community of the UAA and of other institutions in the country.

Mr. Francisco Javier Pérez Rodríguez, president of the National Council for Teaching and Research in Communication Sciences (CONEICC), added that these meetings reaffirm the commitment as an organization and Higher Education Institutions to continue providing spaces for discussion and reflection for teaching. of communication and reinforce the work of innovation and research in communicators.

The event also had the presence of Mtra. María Zapopan Tejeda Caldera, dean of the Center for Social Sciences and Humanities (CCSyH); Dr. Rossana Reguillo Cruz, Researcher, activist and person in charge of the Inaugural Conference; teachers, students, graduates and communicators; as well as members of the University Executive Commission, CCSyH commission, speakers and students from public and private universities that make up the CONEICC.

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Colombia: The first meeting is held in Cali to weave a network of peace initiatives in the territories

EDUCATION FOR PEACE .

An article from the Ministry of Culture of Colombia

Between April 3 and April 5, the first national meeting took place for territorial networks for a culture of peace, an initiative of the Culture of Peace Strategy of the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Knowledge.

The beginninf of the space was marked by the voices of the Cantaoras de Pogue (Bojayá) who evoked the pain of their history; an echo to leave war and seek peace.

The song invited the 25 artistic and cultural organizations from the municipalities of Antioquia, Nariño, Chocó, Putumayo, Caribe and Bogotá, attending the event, to reflect on the transformative power of unity, mutual protection and trust in the ability of the territories to forge peace.

Space for mutual recognition of organizations. Photo: Paula Beltrán.

The objective of this meeting is to recognize the artistic and cultural organizations strengthened by the Culture of Peace Strategy of the Ministry of Cultures and promote their exchange of experiences, methodologies and processes.

“In the arts you show us that other country that some have called ‘the geography of hope.’ We must move from resistance to guarantees of rights, so that we can advance beyond war and everything that has harmed us,” said Adriana Molano, Vice Minister of Heritage, Memories and Cultural Governance.

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

Question for this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

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It is expected that during the three days of the meeting, these organizations will connect experiences, create peace networks and share their territorial processes, commitments and methodologies around the creation of a culture of peace.

For the Culture of Peace Strategy, these initiatives are platforms that, from the territories, make it possible to address daily violence, long-term violence and the factors of persistence of armed conflict.

The main purpose of the strategy is to enhance the political and transformative nature of culture in the care of all forms of life, as well as in the understanding and processing of conflicts.

“We work with children and young people, so that through culture they are part of a new world. I think that this meeting invites us to learn about the initiatives of the other groups, to know how we are all working for that long-awaited peace,” said Fernanda Tenorio Quiñones, who comes from Tumaco and is a member of the Pacific Folklore School Foundation.

A culture of peace for what?

Since 2023, Minculturas has been accompanying and supporting territorial peace culture initiatives. It does so with processes to strengthen its management capabilities, training spaces and guaranteeing the visibility of its actions. This is in line with the commitment to recognize that peace is forged from the territories and that the cultural efforts coming from the communities are decisive for the transformation of the stories of war into new imaginaries of the nation.

The proposal of a Culture of Peace is to strengthen political participation and territorial transformation, promote the sensitivity that art contains towards daily life, dignify life, process mourning and repair damage. To build, together, new stories of the nation.

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Speech by Brazil President Lula at the opening of the 37th African Union Summit

FREE FLOW OF INFORMATION .

A report from the Government of Brazil on February 17

It is with great joy that I return to Africa for the twenty-first time, once again as President of Brazil, to address the leaders of the African Union. I come to reaffirm the partnership and bond between our country and our people and the sister continent.


Lula and Africa

The African struggle has a lot in common with the challenges faced by Brazil. More than half of the 200 million Brazilian citizens recognize themselves as Afro-descendants. We, Africans and Brazilians, must chart our own paths within the emerging world order.

We must create a new global governance that is capable of facing the challenges of our time.

Minimal State theories are no longer applicable. Planning agricultural and industrial development has once again become part of public policies in all sectors.

Energy and digital transitions require government leverage and guidance.

Attempts to restore a global system based on ideological blocs are not applicable in the real world. Multipolarity is an inexorable and welcome component in the 21st century. Consolidation of BRICS as the world’s most important arena for the articulation of emerging countries is an undeniable advance.

Without the participation of developing countries, it will not be possible to open any new cycle of global expansion — combining growth, environmental preservation and reduced inequality and with increased freedoms.

The Global South is becoming an unavoidable part of the solution to the main crises that afflict this planet.

These crises arise from a model that concentrates wealth, and which mainly affects the poorest — and, among these, immigrants. The alternative to the ills of neoliberal globalization will not come from the racist and xenophobic far right. Development cannot be the privilege of a few.

Only an inclusive social project will allow us to establish prosperous, free, democratic, and sovereign societies. There will be no stability or democracy if hunger and unemployment remain.

The time is ripe to revive the best humanist traditions of the great leaders of African decolonization.

Being a humanist today means condemning the attacks perpetrated by Hamas against Israeli civilians, and demanding the immediate release of all hostages. Being a humanist also demands rejecting Israel’s disproportionate response, which has killed almost 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza—the vast majority of them women and children—and caused the forced displacement of over 80% of the population.

The solution to this crisis will only last if we move quickly towards the creation of a Palestinian State that is also recognized as a full member of the United Nations—a strengthened UN that harbors a more representative Security Council, in which there are no countries with veto power, and which includes permanent members from Africa and Latin America. For two years now, the war in Ukraine has exposed the Council’s paralysis. Beyond the tragic loss of life, its consequences are also being felt around the world in food and fertilizer prices.

There will be no military solution to this conflict. The time has come for politics and diplomacy.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Africa—with its 1 billion 500 million inhabitants and its immense and rich territory—has enormous possibilities for the future. Brazil wants to grow alongside Africa, but never dictating any paths.

The Brazilian people are recovering their political and economic sovereignty. We are adopting an ecological transformation project which will allow us to take a historic leap forward. We are reviving our democracy and making it increasingly participatory.

Through Bolsa Família and other successful public policies, we will once again leave the hunger map and lift millions of Brazilians out of poverty.

Talking about “Inclusive Education”—this Summit’s main topic—is talking about the future. Around the world, almost 250 million children do not attend school. In Brazil we are implementing full-time schools, as well as granting a benefit to the poorest high school students as a way of reducing the number of school dropouts.

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(Click here for the Portuguese version of this article)

Questions related to this article:

Where in the world can we find good leadership today?

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I am proud to say that thousands of African citizens have concluded their studies in Brazil—but we are going to do even more. We are going to increase the number of scholarships we offer so as to welcome African students to our public higher education institutions.

We are willing to develop educational programs in Africa, and to promote intense exchange of teachers and researchers. Let us collaborate so that Africa may become independent in its food and clean energy production.

Africa harbors 400 million hectares spread across over 25 countries which have the potential to make this continent one of the great breadbaskets of the world, enabling policies to combat hunger and produce biofuels.

I also want to extend our partnership to the health sector. There is much to learn from both of our health strategies, and from the possibility of structuring robust and broad-reaching public systems.

We will work alongside the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to tackle neglected tropical diseases. We will aim to expand access to medicines, avoiding repetition of the vaccine “apartheid” that we saw in COVID-19.

Taking care of the health of the planet is also our priority. The imperative of protecting the world’s two largest tropical rainforests—in the Amazon and the Congo basins—makes us protagonists in the climate agenda.

Current international instruments are insufficient to effectively reward the protection of forests, their biodiversity and the people who live in them, take care of them, and depend on them.

By recovering degraded areas, we can create a true green belt to protect forests in the Global South. Alongside African partners, Brazil wants to develop and construct a family of satellites to monitor deforestation.

To carry all this out, we are going to create a cooperation outpost with the African Union in sectors such as agricultural research, health, education, environment, and science and technology.

Our diplomatic representation in Addis Ababa will soon include employees from government bodies such as the Brazilian Cooperation Agency, EMBRAPA and FIOCRUZ—our research and development bodies in agriculture and health.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Our paths will meet again at the G20 Summit, in Rio de Janeiro, and at COP 30, in Belém. The presence of the African Union as a full member of the G20 will be of great value—but including more countries from the continent as full members is still also necessary. We have common agendas to defend.

It is unacceptable that a world capable of generating wealth in the order of USD 100 trillion dollars per year still harbors the hunger of more than 735 million people. We are creating the Global Alliance against Hunger at the G20 so as to promote a set of public policies and mobilize resources to finance them.

Around 60 countries—many of them in Africa—are coming close to financial insolvency, allocating more resources to paying external debt than to education or health. This reflects the obsolete nature of financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank, which often worsen crises that they should be resolving.

Solutions to transform unfair and unpayable debts into concrete assets—such as highways, railways, hydroelectric plants, wind and solar energy parks, green hydrogen production and energy transmission networks—must be sought after. We need to follow the evolution of new technologies step by step.

Artificial Intelligence cannot be monopolized by a few countries and companies—and may also become fertile ground for hate speech and misinformation, as well as cause unemployment and reinforce racial and gender biases which accentuate injustice and discrimination.

Brazil is going to promote G20 interaction with the High-Level Panel created by the UN Secretary-General to support discussions on the Global Digital Compact.

In this way, we hope to contribute to effective and multilateral governance in Artificial Intelligence that fully incorporates the interests of the Global South.

My friends,
I want to close by saying that there is no Global South without Africa.

Resuming Brazil’s rapprochement with Africa means recovering historical ties and contributing to the construction of a new, more just and supportive world order. Above all, it allows us to join forces in overcoming the challenges that lie ahead.

Thank you very much.

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International Women’s Day: The Americas

. WOMEN’S EQUALITY . .

A press survey by CPNN

In order to gather photos from the celebration of International Women’s Day, we put the following phrases into the google search engine:
° women’s day photos 2024
° Photos “Journée internationale de la femme” 2024
° Fotos”Día Internacional de la Mujer” 2024
° Fotos “Dia Internacional da Mulher” 2024

Here are the results from the Americas.

ARGENTINA


The center of Buenos Aires on Friday evening during the celebration of International Women’s Day. JUAN IGNACIO RONCORONI (EFE) (from El País)

BERMUDA

The Government kicked of its celebration of International Women’s Day [IWD] with the Public Service IWD Wellness Walk around Hamilton earlier this week, with a number of female Public Service employees taking part, including the Governor, Minister of Youth, Social Development and Seniors and Head of the Public Service Cherie Whitter. The Government has prepared a series of activities throughout the week aimed at recognizing and celebrating the contributions of women in the public service under the theme #InspireInclusion. (from Bernews)

BOLIVIA

Women shouts slogans against gender-based violence during an International Women’s Day march in La Paz, Bolivia, Friday, March 8, 2024. AP Photo/Juan Karita (from APNews)

BRAZIL

People take part in a march in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil March 8. A banner reads “Stop to femicide. Legalization of abortion.” REUTERS/Tita Barros (From Reuters)


PETERBOROUGH, CANADA

Kawartha World Issues Centre and Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre rallied and marched in Downtown Peterborough for International Women’s Day from Peterborough Square to City Hall on Friday afternoon. Photo by David Tuan Bui. (from PTBO Canada)

VANCOUVER, CANADA

Various groups gather outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday March 3, 2024 for speeches followed by a march for International Women’s Day. (CityNews Image) (from Vancouver City News)

CHILE


Protesters march in groups in the commemoration of International Women’s Day in Santiago. SOFIA YANJARI. (from El País)

COLOMBIA

A woman attends an International Women’s Day event with a red handprint across her mouth, a symbolic representation of murdered and missing Indigenous women, in Bogota, Colombia, Friday, March 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara) (from APNews)

ECUADOR


People take part in a march in Quito, Ecuador, March 8. REUTERS/Karen Toro (From Reuters)

GUATEMALA


Young people in Guatemala City release green smoke in the Plaza de la Constitución. DAVID TORO (EFE). (from El País)

HONDURAS

Tegucigalpa, Honduras. International Women’s Day was marked with street actions Fot: Gustavo Amado/EPA (from Renascença)

Question related to this article:
 
Prospects for progress in women’s equality, what are the short and long term prospects?

MEXICO


More than 180,000 protesters marched through Mexico City demanding access to justice and freedom from violence and fear. Some carried photos of people they were accusing of rape or violence. Other banners demanded that girls grow up without violence and drew attention to missing and murdered women. [Lexie Harrison-Cripps/Al Jazeera] (From Al Jazeera)

PANAMA


Women participate during marches in commemoration of International Women’s Day in Panama City, Panama, 08 March 2024. (from EPA Images)

PERU


Protesters dance during the protest in Lima (Peru). ANGELA PONCE (REUTERS)Argentina. (from El País)



PUERTO RICO


Shouting: “Vivas nos queremos”, “Nosotras parimos, nosotras decidimos” o “¡Qué viva la lucha feminista!” (“We love each other alive”, “We give birth, we decide” or “Long live the feminist struggle!”), two marches toured the streets of the capital of Puerto Rico, this March 8. RICARDO ARDUENGO (REUTERS). (from El País)

UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK

Address by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the UN, on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2024. (frame from video of UN television)


CHICAGO, UNITED STATES

In Chicago, the day before International Women’s Day, CODEPINK, the Party for Socialism and Liberation, and Chicago Area Peace Action dropped a banner over the Chicago river that read: Feminists Say No to War with accompanying signs demanding negotiations in Ukraine and cooperation with China. (from Codepink)


SEATTLE, UNITED STATES

People chant as they walk down John Street on Capitol Hill during a march for International Working Women’s Day on Friday, March 8, in Seattle. Speeches portrayed Palestinian liberation as a “feminist imperative.” (Jennifer Buchanan / The Seattle Times) (from the Seattle Times)

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES

On March 8th, 2023, peace activists in DC made a large human peace sign in the rotunda, a banner demanding “Peace NOW” was unfurled from an upper level. The group in the rotunda formed a human peace sign donned with pink parasols and peacefully sang “Give Peace A Chance.” The human peace sign and the “Peace NOW” banner were followed up by office visits to Congresswomen who initially signed the Progressive Caucus letter to Biden demanding he pursue a path to negotiations to end the Russia/Ukraine War. (from Codepink)


Women march in Montevideo (Uruguay), this March 8. MARIANA GREIF (REUTERS). (from El País)

VENEZUELA


Women participate in a demonstration in Caracas, Venezuela, March 8. REUTERS/Gaby Oraa. (from Reuters)

Art for peace in Mexico City

EDUCATION FOR PEACE .

An article by Azaneth Cruz in El Heraldo de México

“Cracks and fissures. Where peace appears” exhibits the work of 12 artists from different neighborhoods of the capital and the State of Mexico and reflects on violence

For the artist Carlos Amorales, the neighborhood is “more synonymous with community than with violence,” a reason that led him to join the mentoring of the artists who participated in the group exhibition Cracks and Fissures.


Credit: Fotos: Especial

The exhibition “Where peace appears,” continues until June of this year at the University Cultural Center (CCU) Tlatelolco. It is part of the Peace Laboratories, a project created in 2021 that seeks to contribute to cultural development, peace building and social transformation in territories affected by insecurity and violence through art.

From the portraits made by Esteban Viveros of the people who live in the Guerrero neighborhood; to the landscapes of Jessica Islas, who denounces the burning of the forests in Xochimilco; and the collective work of Atardecer Dwsk that demonstrates that art heals the hearts of those who feel loneliness and depression, the creators seek to question prejudices about the places they inhabit.

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

Question for this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?

Is there progress towards a culture of peace in Mexico?

(continued from left column)

“We have talked a lot about violence.

We have been talking about violence for 15 years, documenting it and experiencing it more and more closely, however, little is proposed to internalize peace, for this reason we establish different projects that are carried out in the laboratories. An example of this is this exhibition, in which 12 artists share and defend what the neighborhood means to them,” explained Paola Zavala, director of outreach at CCUTlatelolco.

He added that the exhibition: “is an invitation to the counterculture of drug trafficking, to the series, to the activities that incite violence and the objectification of women, to link young people to other successful roles that help us to the construction of communities of peace through art as a space for encounter, reflection, resistance and proposal.”

The exhibition is mentored by historian Alesha Mercado, actress and human rights defender Minerva Valenzuela, collector and architect Roberto Shimizu, curator Cuauhtémoc Medina and artists Eduardo Abaroa and Carlos Amorales.

DETAILS

Participating artists come from Xochimilco, La Merced, Iztapalapa, Magdalena Contreras and Chimalhuacán.

The CCU Tlatelolco Peace Laboratories were created in 2021.

12 artists participate.

The exhibition lasts 5 months.
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Declaration of Cuban Culture institutions in support of artists from Argentina in the face of Javier Milei’s measures

EDUCATION FOR PEACE .

An article from Cuba Information

Different cultural institutions in Cuba have expressed their concern about the Argentine government’s attempt to “ignore and mutilate the rich cultural life” and urged “a return to the urgency of recognizing that art and culture are a powerful tool to reconstruct the memory of the continent for its spirituality and the recognition of its diversity, to offer an “other” view of the historical-social reality, to decolonize knowledge and to stop the looting of our heritage and the aggression against our identities.

The declaration was promoted by the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry, the House of the Americas, the House of the Film Festival, the Foundation of New Latin American Cinema, the International Film School, the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, the National Ballet of Cuba, the Hermanos Saiz Association and the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba.

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

Question for this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?

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“There are many challenges for artists faced with the government’s attempt to cut their support and to dismiss their role as guarantor of the national essence. The complex reality that Argentina is experiencing and the continuous messages that come to us from intellectuals and artists about the danger that the culture of that country faces under the government of Javier Milei, demands that we express our solidarity and most sincere support to those who fight to defend the achievements made by that nation. Their creative production is of great relevance , not only for its recognized quality, but for its positive impact in the Latin American and Caribbean region,” according to the declaration.

In the declaration, Cuban institutions from different artistic branches state that “culture is one of the most conflictual domains within Argentine political reality. Intellectuals and artists, especially filmmakers and performing artists, face a scenario in which their performances may be dramatically affected and, as a consequence, the reconstruction of collective memory and national and regional identity would be hindered. Argentine culture and cinematography have a prominent place on the continent. They must be defended as a space where ways of acting and thinking about the past and imagining the future are recombined. They provide a setting for the collective construction of symbolic universes, social practices and political agendas. Culture offers the most important possibilities of choice and freedom.”

(Note: The integral text of the declaration is available on the website. The declaration is still open for signatures at prensa@icaic.cu.)

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A Working Class Victory on Colombia’s Horizon

… . HUMAN RIGHTS … .

An article by Omar Ocampo in Inequality.org (Content licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0 License)

The Seventh Committee of the House of Representatives voted to approve 16 of the 98 articles of the landmark Labor Reform bill right before the start of winter recess. The bill will now advance to a second round of legislative debates that will resume next month.

This is great news for the workers movement: Labor reform represents one of the three flagship policy proposals of the Petro-Márquez administration that seeks to equitably transform society. The bill will not only restore the labor rights that were rescinded a little over twenty years ago by a far-right government — it will go a step further and expand these rights.

The road to reform thus far has not been easy. Since the bill was first introduced last March, it predictably encountered fierce opposition from the business community and its political representatives. Those corporate stakeholders argued that the bill distributes benefits to an already privileged class of formalized and unionized workers.

But as researcher Santiago Garcés Correa highlighted in an article for the magazine 100 Días, such depictions do not accurately portray the lived experiences of the Colombian working-class. Petro’s labor reform platform is a reflection of workers’ daily grievances and struggles.

Over the past few years, pro-reform advocates have organized sit-ins, work stoppages, and protests — both at a local and national level — against the increased prevalence of subcontracting, outsourcing, and anti-union corporate practices.

Palmosan S.A.S., a palm oil company in Santander, for example, fired 48 of its employees after its workforce formed a trade union, Sintrapalmosan, and voted to go on a strike when the company refused to negotiate a list of labor demands. The strike ended after six months with the signing of a collective agreement between both parties, but Palmosan only relented after the Ministry of Labor intervened in the dispute and a district court ruled in the union’s favor.

While all workers recognize the need for reform, some sectors felt differently about the solutions at hand. Despite such a difficult and unfavorable environment for organizing, workers in the digital platform sector initially expressed their disapproval of the Labor Reform bill.

Simón Borrero Posada, the CEO of the super-app Rappi — an on-demand delivery service popular in Colombia — gave a series of interviews rife with misleading statements. Posada asserted that the Labor Reform bill would force the company to hire digital platform workers full-time, thus eliminating the flexibility that so many rappitenderos currently enjoy. The problem with this statement? No such stipulation existed in the reform bill.

Still, five hundred Rappi employees organized a small protest in the capital city of Bogotá in March of 2023. Their principal demand was a rejection of a forced full-time contract. The corporate media took full advantage of the spectacle and pushed the narrative that workers and employers share an interest in rejecting the Labor Reform bill.

Right-wing opposition parties — led by Cambio Radical and el Centro Democrático — kept up the pressure and mobilized more than 90,000 of their supporters in street demonstrations to register their discontent with Petro’s entire reform agenda.

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Question(s) related to this article:
 
The right to form and join trade unions, Is it being respected?

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

(Article continued from left column)

By the time the Labor Reform bill reached the Seventh Committee of the House of Representatives in June, it was dead on arrival. Lawmakers did not even get the opportunity to debate the bill since the committee failed to reach quorum. As a result, the Labor Reform bill was shelved, amounting to a major setback for the Petro-Márquez administration and allied reformers.

To the surprise of many, a slightly modified version of the Labor Reform bill was filed at the end of August and, when properly debated, it advanced to the next stage of the legislative process. 

The business community still objects to the increased labor costs attendant to the expansion of workers’ rights and claim this will hinder the formalization of the informal sector. In other words, it will discourage business owners from hiring workers who currently “operate outside of the regulatory and tax systems.” But formalization will not occur significantly unless dignified employment and social protection programs are offered. 

The 16 approved articles of the Labor Reform bill are substantive. Night shifts will now begin at 7:00 PM instead of 9:00 PM (Article 15). People who work on Sundays and holidays will now have their overtime pay rate increased (Article 19). 

Employers who discriminate on the basis of sex, gender identity, race, age, economic background, and health history will face drastic penalties (Article 21). Digital platform food delivery workers will receive social security through health and pension contributions by the platform companies for whom they work (Article 30). 

Colombia will offer new training programs for rural work (Article 37). And migrants will bear the same labor rights as citizens (Article 42). 

Right before the New Year, a scandal erupted at a tuna factory in Cartagena. Van Camp’s, a firm operated by Seatech International, was making women workers feel obligated to wear diapers on the job — bathroom breaks are tallied and deducted from their pay.  

The Labor Minister Gloria Inés Ramírez publicly denounced the multinational firm, which has denied the allegations and threatened legal action against the minister. Colombia’s right-wing opposition has rallied to the firm’s defense, but testimonies from employees seem to confirm the minister’s public declarations. 

Besaiga Raga, who has worked for Seatech International for 13 years, said that many of her colleagues are “choosing to put on a disposable diaper” because they “cannot afford to forfeit the little that they earn to the company” by taking a bathroom break.

“It is not easy to go to the restroom,” added Berky Arrieta Garcia. “There are not enough toilets for the number of women who work there. Sometimes it takes 20-25 minutes, even up to half an hour, because we have to form a queue to go to the toilet.”

The Van Camp’s diaper debacle — still playing out — exemplifies why higher labor standards are urgently needed in Colombia. The Labor Reform bill is a crucial means of improving the bargaining position and labor conditions of Colombian workers. And its advancement in Congress is an overdue victory that the Colombian working-class should achieve and celebrate in 2024.

The author, Omar Ocampo, is a researcher for the Program on Inequality and the Common Good at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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Colombia: Artists who were victims of the conflict unite their voices for peace in their regions

EDUCATION FOR PEACE .

An article from Noticias RCN

More than 45 artists who are victims of the conflict joined their voices to once again ask for peace in their regions. Singers, poets, dancers and musicians answered the call of the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace and created an album of various genres, in order to send the message against violence: “enough is enough”.

(click image and go to the video)

The album contains a mix of Afro-Colombian rhythms, ordinary songs and rap. It is a cry of hope and faith to bridge the gap between youth and those who take up arms. Noticias RCN spoke with several of its creators about their reasos to participate in the initiative.

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

Question for this article:

Do the arts create a basis for a culture of peace?

What is happening in Colombia, Is peace possible?

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“The idea is that, instead of holding a gun, youth can pick up an instrument to play the music of our ancestors,” said Michelle Valverde, a member of “Juventud ancestral.”

Music as an element that transmits peace

For her part, Adriana Botero, advisor to the Office of the High Commissioner for Peace, explained that the initiative is meant to use art against violence.

“Rap worked for us as a tool of social transformation. It is a bridge that allows us to communicate with all our societies,” added Denise Cáceres, member of ‘Motilonas rap’.

The initiative seeks to raise awareness of the need to develop constructive processes where all voices are heard. In it, music is understood as an element that transmits, and on this occasion, the message is peace and reconciliation.

“Without a doubt, music is an element that communicates, in this case, peace and reconciliation. We tell the whole world that through art we can build society,” concluded Edwin Eregua, singer of llanera music.

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Oaxaca, Mexico: State Government Promotes Culture of Peace as a Public Policy

.. DEMOCRATIC PARTICIPATION ..

An article from the Gobierno del Estado de Oaxaca

Within the framework of the Training Conference for Municipal Authorities elected by Indigenous Regulatory Systems 2024, the Government Secretariat (Sego) presented the Program “Peace with Justice and Well-being” for the People of Oaxaca.

In this sense, the director of Culture of Peace of Sego, Leticia Cruz López, reported that in the sessions held this January 8 and 9 in the Oaxacan capital, municipal authorities were called upon to develop actions for the implementation of peace policies and promotion programs.

In this way, the aim is to contribute at the local level, to the positive transformation of social and agrarian conflicts for the benefit of girls, boys, young people, women and men of Oaxaca.

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(Click here for the Spanish original of this article)

Questions for this article:

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

Is there progress towards a culture of peace in Mexico?

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“We thank the new elected municipal authorities for accepting the implementation of a culture of peace with an intercultural approach, since municipalities are a key element in influencing the strengthening or reestablishment of the community fabric,” she stated.

These trainings are part of the accreditation process for the municipal authorities who assumed their duties on January 1 of this year, carried out by the Sego Undersecretary responsible for Municipal Strengthening.

The state official highlighted that the municipal authorities show their interest in being part of the State Network of Municipalities as Agents of Social Peace, as well as working with their councils with tools to establish community dialogues, spaces for mediation and conciliation in their towns and build processes of conflicts resolution.

With these actions, the State Government and the municipalities join forces so that Oaxaca is transformed with respect, diversity, equality and justice, so that community environments are strengthened and privileged by peace and where differences are worked on constructively.

Some of the municipal authorities that joined the Network of Municipalities Agents of Social Peace are: Mariscala de Juárez, Santa María Yalina, Santo Domingo Albarradas, San Melchor Betaza, San Juan Cotzocón, Santiago Camotlán, San Pedro and San Pablo Ayutla, San Miguel del Río and Ixtlán de Juárez, among others.

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Mexico: the First Conference for Peace is held at the Metropolitan Autonomous University in Cuajimalpa

… EDUCATION FOR PEACE …

An article by Maribel Lozoyade from UAM/UNIDAD CUAJIMALPA

A group of research professors from the Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM) has created the Research Network on Culture of Peace, Justice and Solid Institutions. Its objective is to promote a culture of peace through reflection, education and discussion of issues, as well as the implementation of actions that contribute to the strengthening of the ideals of peace. This initiative seeks to intervene and have a social impact in solving problems from various disciplines.

In commemoration of the International Day of Peace, established by the UN on September 21, the Network organized the First Days for Peace. The opening ceremony took place on September 18 at the Cuajimalpa Unit of the UAM, and was attended by authorities from the different academic units that are part of this university.

Dr. José Antonio de los Reyes Heredia, general rector of the UAM, inaugurated the conference and highlighted that universities and Higher Education Institutions have the responsibility of addressing priority issues, satisfying specific needs and accompanying society in its adaptation to challenges. current. This involves promoting perspectives of peace, working to eradicate violence and assuming environmental responsibility. The rector stated that the UAM has incorporated these efforts transversally into its university policies.

(Article continued in right column)

(click here for the original version in Spanish).

Questions for this article:

Is there progress towards a culture of peace in Mexico?

(Article continued from left column)

De los Reyes Heredia pointed out that these days highlight the efforts made by various entities to strengthen their institutions. Almost half a century after the founding of the UAM, the university is implementing strategies that reflect the important social contribution it has had over five decades. He concluded by stating that these first days reflect the identity of the university community and how they wish to be perceived as an institution.

Professor Octavio Mercado González, rector of the UAM-C, stressed that current times are characterized by enormous challenges and threats in different areas and scales. He expressed concern about the polarization of public discourse and how social media influences the local and global context. He highlighted that public universities must reaffirm their ability to contribute to the debate from a climate of respect that makes room for all voices.

“Working in cultures of peace allows us to generate spaces, agreements, but above all, reinforce the way in which the university addresses problems. Universities are not islands, they are not separated from these conflictive environments. We cannot think of the notion of a culture of peace as an absence of conflict, but as the way to address these conflicts towards mediation and construction of agreements that allow a climate of respect to give voice to all parties and to sustain the life of the community.”

Dr. Gabriel Pérez Pérez, director of the Division of Social Sciences and Humanities, explained that the First Conference for Peace takes place until September 22 in different spaces of the UAM academic headquarters. He thanked the work of Dr. Jesús Elizondo, research professor at the UAM-C and head of the Research Network on Culture of Peace, Justice and Solid Institutions, for his remarkable work in ensuring that these sessions were carried out in a public space such as the UAM.

Finally, Dr. Claudia Salazar Villava, member of the Network, spoke on behalf of her research team and highlighted that this initiative seeks to create spaces for learning, debate, reflection and exchange to strengthen the work in favor of peace and justice from different units and approaches. “The network seeks for this Culture of Peace week to be the stage that makes visible the institutional efforts that contribute to the strengthening of peace, the peaceful transformation of conflicts and harmony. We must address the context of violence that affects the daily lives of the university community by promoting reflection and the development of strategies of respect, mutual care and supportive forms of coexistence.