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Saturday, November 14, 2009

November 13, 2009

Today our team met with three organizers of a network of ten women’s groups in Juárez and México. During their analysis they reported that violence and violent responses are moving the Juárez community and indeed the whole of México in the opposite direction of liberation and justice. They also reported that the media plays a key role in promoting this negative direction. For example, in Juárez fear is widespread and it's impact is negative. Fear imprisons families in their homes. It scares people into silence. It prevents people from helping victims of violence or their families. It paralyzes the human spirit. Moreover, to the support the militarization of Juarez, the government is diverting human service funds to the military.

In contrast, the organizers of the network share a message of vision and hope. The women’s network is pioneering a new direction and the formation of a new movement. They have three clear and immediate goals: one, to publicly promote human rights, justice, and peace; two, to advocate legislative action; three, to reach out locally, nationally, and internationally. Locally they sponsor theater-in-the-streets to help the people understand what is happening and they make public violence and injustice and talk about human rights in the streets. Nationally they organize public events and marches. Presently one march that includes women from twelve states is headed for Mexico City. Internationally they reach out to human rights groups around the planet. Moreover they are beginning to use the tools of the internet.

Organizers tell us that they experience dangers, and intimidation and sometimes feel alone. Community and solidarity is their source of strength and the possibility of peace team presence and nonviolent protective accompaniment speaks to them.

In the evening we met with representatives from four colonias, (neighborhoods). The meeting began with a positive reflection on team work. Then the representatives shared information about their needs assessments and organizing efforts.

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