PEREGRINATIONS - Canadian Catholic Perspectives and Reflections by members of the PERSONAL ORDINARIATE OF THE CHAIR OF ST. PETER
Friday, 27 May 2016
Spiritual roots of hope for Mexico
Jean Ko Din writes about the spiritual roots of change in
Mexico. Excerpts follow:
Mexico is ready for social change. The problem is that no
one can agree on where to start, said Miguel Alvarez Gandara.
“All these explanations of the Mexican situation, in my
opinion, all of them are part of the complete diagnosis of human rights,” said Gandara,
an expert in peace meditation. “The problem is that in Mexico, every group is
acting towards its own diagnosis.”
Earlier this month, Gandara visited Toronto to talk to the
Jesuit Forum for Social Faith and Justice.
“Some say that the Mexican state is so corrupted with so
much juridical fiction that it is not a state of law, it is not a state of
justice. It’s just a general condition where the powerful benefit from the
minority,” he said. “For another, this is a criminal state linked with organized
crime. Some will call it a narco state.”
Others believe the main crisis in Mexico lies in security,
with the Mexican army holding sway over local communities and local affairs.
Some believe the growing income gap has fuelled the growth
of organized crime.
Gandara said organized crime is so strongly linked with
individuals in government and in communities it is very difficult to contain
its spread . . . the Mexican people are frustrated, yet the
government consistently denies the reality of the situation.
In March, the
Inter-American Human Rights Commission released a report that said Mexico is
suffering a “serious crisis of violence and impunity.” The report said the
Mexican government has systemically failed to investigate crimes that have led
to torture and the disappearance and killings of more than 30,000 people as of
“(The Mexican government) is not accepting the fact of that
explanation. They say that they did not generalize, instead they focused on the
isolated incidents,” said Gandara. “The truth is that because of the violence
of the war against crimes, we as a country have the surprise of receiving what
is now the centralizing of all victims.”
Gandara said that in anticipation of the upcoming Three
Amigos summit on June 29, when leaders from Canada, the United States and
Mexico will meet, it is important that Canadians gain a better understanding of
the crisis that Mexico is currently facing.
Gandara has more than 40 years of experience in peace
mediation in Mexico. He is president of SERAPAZ (Service and Advising for
Peace), a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing peaceful resolutions to
social struggles in Mexico.
He said that when Pope Francis visited Mexico in February,
it was a phenomenon because everyone wanted the Holy Father to say something
that supported their cause and their agenda.
“There was a preparation for the battle for the Pope,” said
Gandara. “But he was so smart... He didn’t say the phrases that we were needing
but he left us a package of wonders of hope. Now the media has forgotten the
Pope, but the churches are working with the gift the Pope gave the Mexican
Gandara is hopeful about the future. Social movements are
rising up everywhere in the country and the people are letting it be known they
are very aware of the corruption in the country.
Full article in the May 27 edition of THE CATHOLIC REGISTER