Pax Christi International Advocacy Officer, Giulia Bordin, actively took part in a pivotal Dialogue meeting organised by the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) in Brussels on September 22, 2023. This significant gathering was held in conjunction with the II Caravan for Integral Ecology, an initiative spearheaded by the Churches and Mining Network (RIM). The event extended invitations to a diverse array of faith-based organisations headquartered in Brussels.
The meeting highlighted compelling testimonies and insights from:
– Noel Antonio Londono Buitrago, Bishop of Jericó (Colombia)
– Valentina Vidal, Social worker, and Claretian Missionary (Argentina)
– Daniela Andrade, Communicator, and Educator (Peru)
– Lucy Ximena Urvina Alejandro, Young Indigenous Leader (Ecuador)
– Alex Donaldson Garcia, Community Scientist and Defender of Land Rights (Guatemala)
– Guilherme Cavalli, Coordinator of the Iglesias Y Mineria Divestment Campaign (Brazil)
Thy shared their invaluable experiences, expertise, and tireless efforts in raising awareness in Latin America and Europe regarding the pressing issue of extractivism. Their powerful narratives and life experiences stand as tangible examples of the potent impact that nonviolent responses can wield in support of indigenous populations and local communities confronted with imminent threats stemming from the exploitation of lands and waters by mining companies and governmental entities.
They underlined the unwavering support provided by the Churches and Bishops in Latin America remains a stalwart source of strength for these communities, despite the persistent threats they face for their principled stance.
Inspired by the profound words and principles articulated in Laudato Si’, the participating organisations engaged in a constructive and enlightening dialogue within a familiar and nurturing environment. Their shared objective transcended the mere acknowledgment of the value and significance of the II Caravan for Integral Ecology; it entailed a resolute commitment to sustained collaboration. Their collective mission is to translate these guiding principles into tangible, real-world actions within the framework of the European Union. By doing so, they aspire to foster a sustainable, equitable, and just peace— where the right to water, and, by extension, the safeguarding of fundamental human rights, prevails as an inviolable standard.
The Latin America Pax Christi International program is an active member of the Churches & Mining Network in its advocacy and strengthening capacities of communities affected by extractives in the region.