"Estamos hasta la madre! [We are fed up]" is the rallying cry of Mexican poet and author Javier Sicilia, who has mobilized people on both sides of the border to stop the bloodshed caused by drug violence. The following article was published in the September-October 2012 NewsNotes.
The history of Maryknoll in Latin America is rich and deep. Our commitment to the promotion of social justice and peace in the region cost several of our missioners their lives during the years of oppression, including Fr. Bill Woods, MM in Guatemala (1976), and Sisters Ita Ford, MM, Maura Clarke, MM and Carla Piete, MM in El Salvador in 1980. Some, like Fr. Miguel D’Escoto in Nicaragua, have served in public roles in support of those who live in poverty. Countless others have accompanied the Central American people in their daily struggles for survival, for social justice, for an end to the violence that destroys their communities; for new life.
Among the particular concerns of Maryknoll in Latin America are poverty, its causes and consequences; migration and refugees; health care, especially holistic care that includes good nutrition and preventative care; access to essential medicines for treatable or curable illness; HIV and AIDS; the rights and dignity of women and children; the response of authorities to the growth in gang violence; mining concessions; just trade agreements; debt cancellation; small and subsistence farming and other work accessible to people who are poor; and environmental destruction.
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MIgrants continue to suffer tremendously as they search for a better life for themselves and their families.
In the past six years, Mexico's "war on drugs" has led to as many as 60,000 deaths and 10,000 disappearances, and has displaced 160,000 people. Characterized by an intense militarization, including the deployment of over 50,000 troops and federal police, this strategy has undermined the country's social fabric and security even more deeply, but has done little to address the painful iniquities of drug trafficking in Mexico. Some victims are saying enough, and demand an alternative to militarization and the war on drugs. Their message is not only directed at the government and people of Mexico: This summer they will bring their message to the U.S. to raise awareness around the U.S. connection to Mexico's war on drugs. The following piece was written by Brennan Baker and published in the July-August 2012 NewsNotes.
The following article appeared in the November-December 2011 issue of NewsNotes.
Rick Dixon, a Maryknoll Lay Missioner, reflects on the Christ child and the Magi in El Salvador.
Dan Moriarty is a returned Maryknoll Lay Missioner who now coordinates the Maryknoll Bolivia Immersion Program.
This week's reflection is written by Kathy McNeely, a returned Maryknoll Lay Missioner and former staff member of Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.
This week's scripture reflection was prepared by Christine Perrier, a returned Maryknoll Lay Missioner who served in Peru.
Chad Ribordy and his family are returned Maryknoll Lay Missioners who lived and worked in Brazil.
This reflection, by Father Dan McLaughlin, who lives and works in Brazil, is also found in A Maryknoll Liturgical Year (Year C), published by Orbis Books.
Bob Short, who served as a lay missioner in Ecuador in the 1980s, now coordinates the Maryknoll Affiliates, an international community.
Joanne Blaney has served as a Maryknoll Lay Missioner in Brazil for many years and is currently working as the Mission Services Director for the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, based in New York.
Father Leo Shea has served as a missioner in several locations, most recently in Jamaica.
Father John Northrup writes about his mission experience in Mexico in this week's reflection.
Erica Olson, a returned Maryknoll Lay Missioner who lived and worked in El Salvador, writes this week's reflection.
Father Gene Toland has served the people of South America for many years; he writes this Sunday's reflection.