*NEW* Search Our Team Reports! Type a word/phrase in the box below (hint: try "Human Rights'').

Monday, December 20, 2010

Team Safe in Michigan

The Fall 2010 MPT Peace Team arrived home in Mochigan moments ago, after their months of service in Juarez.

We at MPT want to thank the team and everyone who worked on this project for their invaluable contributions.

Please watch for updates and information about Juarez and the program here in coming months.

Happy Holidays,

Nicole Rohrkemper
International Teams Coordinator
Michigan Peace Team

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Pain and Joy

Maryann is a young educated woman who speaks fluent english and spanish. She lives in Juarez but is working in El-Paso. Maryann up until last May felt like life had given her everything she ever dreamed of; a good family, a good education, a wonderful husband, and after several doctors visits yes it was true she was going to be a mother. The doctor had told her that she could not conceive because she had a tumor, but miracle of miracles! She and her husband were elated and were going to break the news to the grandparents.

Robert, Maryann’s husband loved pizza and had some friends over to share the good news and some good food. Robert stepped out on an errand with two of his buddies. They passed a check point and were not signaled to stop when suddenly all hell broke loose. The federales (government soldiers) fired forty-five shots. Robert received 3 fatal shots. Tom in the back seat received 35 fatal shots, and the young man in the passenger seat was unharmed. When Maryann arrived on the scene she was told by the Federals that they failed to stop and that they were hit-men, Maryann asked them to show her the arms they were carrying, because it was her car that they were driving, and she knew there were no arms. They had no answers.

Maryann's heart was filled with so much hate, she swore she would never listen or obey a Federale. After the funeral and life getting back to some normalcy while she was driving to work she was stopped by a Federale, he demanded she step out of the car and she refused. He put a gun to her head and demanded her again to step out. Maryann asked him if he had children, then told him she was pregnant and that her baby would never see the face of her daddy because of Federales like him who had shot her husband. The Federale lowered his head, and put his gun away and told her he was sorry and to please leave.

The baby will be born soon; hopefully before MPT leaves Juarez. Maryann and a group of 23 persons have lived this course on mourning together. Now with the birth of Maryann’s baby comes the opportunity for new life and hope. Sharing advent with the people of Juarez has been a time of grace, especially for Maryann and her baby.

*names have been changed to protect identities*

Monday, December 6, 2010

Juarez continues mourning

The family is a very jovial family that enjoys a good joke. They all work as mechanics using their own garage to put in long hours of work. Their oldest son was missing for several days. The family was worried. Someone found his body in a dumpster showing signs of assassination.
A humble, humble family had two young men assassinated outside of their side entrance where a group of young people liked to hang out. The sidedoor was always open. The young men were friends of the family. A few days later shots were heard and Mrs. wittnessed her husband and eldest son assassinated but this time inside the court-yard. The pain and fear of the rest of the family has caused them to put chains on their doors and live a very secluded life.

A young man named Hugo ran down to the shopping center to purchase a bag of chips before going to work. He was gunned down, right in front of the busy store. Hugo's eldery parents were notified and his mother, Arceli proclaimed in shock, "I don't know how I was able to move so fast!"
She arrived at the crime scene only to find her son dead in a pool of blood.

The funeral mass was over and many went to the cemetary to accompany the family. As they were leaving they met up with armend men who had the people that were accompaning another funeral down on the ground in rows!! They were filled with fear and tried to look for an alternative exit. They feared being part of a cross fire because the federales (goverment soldiers) came on the scene.
Many cannot even bury their dead in peace.
These are families that MPT continues to accompany.

*Names in this document have been changed in order to protect the families*