Between Violence and Hope

” …With the collective analysis, we realise the process of empowerment that people follow, how they go out to demonstrate. … People lose their fear, they are moving forward and that is a very great achievement.”

— María García, from the
Bañado Norte Community,
accompanied by SERPAJ Paraguay,
partner within the project
with Pax Christi International

Since 2011, Pax Christi International has been promoting active nonviolence and pro-active citizenship in response to community conflicts associated with extractive projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Martha Inés Romero

Extractive mining, hydroelectric, hydrocarbon and agribusiness companies generate socio-environmental conflicts that have a negative bearing (like deforestation, displacement of peoples, greenhouse gas emissions) on the residents of the territories involved and their land. After successfully empowering communities in Peru, Colombia and Guatemala as part of Phase I of the project “Strengthening Capacities on Conflict Transformation” (2013-2015), Pax Christi International organised partners and communities in Mexico, Chile and Paraguay as part of Phase II (2016-2018). Communities in these countries were empowered through a series of trainings in nonviolent conflict transformation and legal mechanisms to respond to the impact of extractive industries on local communities. A series of new resources on nonviolent strategies and the development of advocacy plans at the local, national and global levels have been created and promulgated to support this effort. This project is focused on demanding an alternative development model, related to economic, social, cultural and environmental rights, and is based on the concept of Sumak Kawsay (good living), to live in an environment of peace and harmony in the world.” The countries in Phase I and II continue to implement the programme and Phase III is being developed for additional countries going forward in 2019.

In Solidarity with FRAYBA, Mexico

Pax Christi International and its partners express great concern about the serious and recurrent threats against our Member Organization, the Centre for Human Rights Fray Bartolomé de las Casas (Frayba), for its work defending indigenous human rights in Chiapas,

The statement is available in English, and Spanish.

Workshop “Conflict Transformation and Advocacy” in San Salvador

The Latin America and Carribean Coordinator Martha Inés Romero and Alejandro Carías, an environmentalist from San Salvador, have been in San Salvador for four days working with the communities affected by extractivism.

Context Analysis, Conflict Transformation and Nonviolence, and Advocacy are some of the useful tools and methodologies used for developing Advocacy action plans, which are part of the seven-countries Project, with the participants.

Our statement in support of the Vatican Synod on the Amazon

Brussels – On 6-27 of October 2019, the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Pan-Amazonian Region will be held at the Vatican, following its announcement by Pope Francis in 2017. The meeting comes at a very timely moment as the situation of indigenous communities and environmental degradation in the Amazon region is getting more critical in terms of violence, extractivism and other preoccupying situations.

Recently, the Instrumentum Laboris for the Amazon: New Paths for the Church and for Integral Ecology, the working document to be discussed during the Synod, was published. Through a statement released today, Pax Christi International, together with its members and partners from Europe, the U.S., Canada and Latin America, expresses its support for the Synod and post-Synod process, welcomes the working document and shares with the Vatican, the universal and local church points for consideration for its reflections and discernment.

Pax Christi International will share the document with the Secretariat of the Vatican preparing the Synod, bishops who will attend the meeting, networks in which the peace movement is active, and Catholic media. Pax Christi International is also planning to attend parallel activities organised during the Synod by civil society with a Guatemalan delegation, including an indigenous representative.

The statement is available in both English and Spanish.