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Saturday, November 21, 2009

November 18, 2009

During the morning we met with members of the Center for Human Rights in Juárez. This is the group that invited MPT to send an exploratory team to Juárez. At this meeting our team reported the highlights of our findings and expressed our gratitude to the Center members for their excellent work. Center members then shared final messages with us.

Here is a summary of the responses from Center members after our team report:

· The children … they are our heart …we needed more time so that you could see how the children play, how they learn, how they live AND how we love them. I want you to see that the children of Juárez are the light of our hearts.

· We start with the children. They are our future AND our present.

· Thank you for your presence. You have motivated me and helped me to learn how to be part of a team. To solve our problems we have to be serious about teamwork. Peace is for everyone. Seeing how MPT works gives me hope. We can do much more here.

· Thank you -- what you have done. You have been with people who have been in fear and terror. The proposals that you have shared are very positive. Also you help us to see how to unite together with other organizations. Our people are paralyzed with fear. The organizations are also paralyzed. The situation has been very difficult -- you have helped us to lift our spirits. We need so much. We are dealing with those who have much power and no respect for life.

· You have experience with groups of people. This has been good. You have explored our roots and the history of our people. The presence and accompaniment --- I feel that it is very powerful for the people. I like that you have opened up to see how people live, and how they you want to be with you.

· We have much work to do here to resolve our problems. As you return to the United States I hope you will share how things need to change there too: Some of the problems we face in Juarez are rooted in the United States. For example…The maquiladoras exploit our people and harm our family structure. Also the drug trade flows to the United States and weapons flow from the United States to

· Now very young youth collect $100 for killing a person—it’s awful to say but this has become a business. Hit men are 14 or 16 years old. This is what I fear in the Barrios –
Juárez children are being used for this terrible business. After killing they sit down and wait for the soldiers. They know they will not get jail time

· You help us to see the importance of listening. We need to listen to one another.

· Our people of Km 27 very happy that you have come. We are very disposed to receive MPT.

· The people of the First of May say they noticed us. They see we want peace and have many needs. You are very welcome --We hope that you can return!

· I would say to you thank you for you solidarity—You see clearly that not only is
Juárez filled with violence; but it is also filled with hope.

· I was quite concerned about
Juárez and the country---Until Julia said that peace was possible -- the obstacles are great. Authoritarianism is strong and things will get worse. I want to be hopeful and work hard for Juárez.

· It would be wonderful to have you in the whole city. It would be a great support. Thanks to Julia and all of you for coming.

Following this meeting we were invited to a celebration sponsored by a group of senior citizens in Juárez.
With them we enjoyed a delicious meal and we danced together. Wisely the seniors told us, singing and dancing is part of our work!

Finally we had an important meeting with two Adrian Dominican sisters (Donna and Maureen) who have dedicated their lives in service of the people of Juárez. Their love wisdom and insights touched us deeply.

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