CHIAPAS: A light on the future and an invitation to pray

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CPTnet

December 10, 2001

CHIAPAS: A light on the future and an invitation to pray

by Angie Freeman

Standing in a circle, in a moment of silence, we lit each other’s candle in

turn, slowly lighting up the space between us. After the silence was

broken, we wanted to mourn and to celebrate at the same time.

After weeks of discernment and conversations with individuals and

organizations, CPT Mexico has decided to put the Chiapas project on hold for

three months, with a re-evaluation for a final closure at the end of that

period. We do this with much celebration because of the changes that have

occurred within the Municipality of Chenalho since CPT first arrived in May

1998.

The initial invitation to CPT from the Abejas and the Diocese came in a time

of fear and desperation for those living within Chenalho, particularly those

who were not affiliated with the PRI ruling party. When CPT entered

Chiapas, the increasing domination of the Mexican army in the region and

threats from paramilitary forces had forced over 10, 000 people to flee

their villages.

Now, as we approach the fourth anniversary since the massacre in Acteal,

there are no longer checkpoints in Chenalho, and several military bases have

closed. In addition, most of the displaced Abejas families have returned to

their original communities without violence. These positive changes have

been encouraging to CPT, a reminder of the power of the continued nonviolent

resistance here, and have contributed greatly to our decision to withdraw.

As we, the Chiapas team, and the Mesa Directiva of the Abejas, were standing

in our candlelit circle, we shared in that moment the realization that we

have done good work together, and that there will always be a connection to

each other as we all strive for peace.

CPT Mexico fully recognizes that we are bringing closure to this project

without seeing justice and without seeing peace in all of Chiapas. For this

reason that we would like to invite you to join us in prayer, by candle

light, on the evening of December 22. Please pray, wherever you find

yourself that night, for those who are still experiencing threats or

violence in Chiapas, and for those who feel the economic oppression more

strongly now that the guns are lifted. Please also pray for the Abejas and

other organizations as they work toward a more just future in their

communities.

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