Posted on October 30, 2018 Mother with You Against the Dispossession
Defending the Creation
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Léalo en español

October is a sad month for this side of the world, because this month commemorates the dispossession, exploitation and foreignization of the original peoples of their own territory. The desire for gold and silver became pillage, and racist exploitative colonial regimes that have not been dismantled 520 years later.

October is an emblematic month for the Christian Continental Network for Peace (RECONPAZ for its initials in Spanish), in which I serve as a consultant. This October the robbery and piracy continue. Today’s heirs of yesterday’s exploitation continue the looting; and our RECONPAZ defends the sons and daughters of the peoples who protect the Creation.

Let me illustrate with the case of La Puya, our commitment to the countries linked to the RECONPAZ.

Multinational companies enter to plunder non-renewable assets of creation.
In the San José del Golfo and San Pedro Ayampuc municipalities of Guatemala, Canadian mining company Radius Gold of Vancouver entered into a partnership with the Guatemalan subsidiary Exmingua, and the American company Kappes, Cassidy & Associates.

Our people express themselves:

Martha, one of the young guardians of creation, very close to us, told us, when we realized that the state without consulting us (as required by law) granted exploration and exploitation concessions to this company, we were outraged and organized ourselves to defend the future of our children.

Efraín, one of the respected elders of the community, told us, the open-pit mining of gold has serious consequences for us: it would leave only craters and debris polluted with toxic gases; we would forever lose the habitat of life; the scarce water would be contaminated with cyanide. That is why we organize ourselves to oppose the mining company peacefully; that’s why we blocked the entrance and did not let the trucks enter; and although the government has displaced public security against us to defend the mining company, and we have suffered death threats, harassment, arbitrary arrests; we are standing in the defense of the territory.

The community managed to close the El Tambor mining project. However, the company is not idle; it still wants to plunder the gold. The lawsuit is before the Constitutional Court, the highest legislative body in Guatemala.

In front of this place, the Ecumenical Christian Council of Guatemala and the Confraternity of Religious of Guatemala celebrated an interreligious prayer to demand that it act in accordance with the law. That day they asked me for a word, this I said:

With you, mother
In you, mother,
There is the cord that nourishes us.
In you, we live
In you, vegetables and fruits,
You feed us.
In you the air,
from you we breathe.
You buried in yourself treasures
fossil hydrocarbons,
and we in you, our ancestors.

In you, our mother,
There is the cord that nourishes us.
That is why we oppose
those who would negotiate
with what’s in your belly;
we oppose those who with your body,
make profits.
We oppose
those who profane you
tear you
mutilate you
Mother, if they kill you
If they take away what nourishes you,
If they finish with your rivers,
with your beaches,
with your forests,
with your seeds,
If they leave your hills peeled
dry your rivers
dirty your beaches
alter your seeds
sterilize your fields;
we die with you
If they finish you,
They end us.

That’s why, mother,
we oppose mining projects
That’s why, mother,
we denounce the state of siege that criminalizes
those who defend you.
Because of that, we rise up against
all who for money
can be bought to annihilate you.
That’s why, mother,
here before the Constitutional Court
We ask for the definitive closure of the mining projects that plunder you.

Mother, in you is the cord that nourishes us.
If you die, we die
If you breathe, we breathe
If you are, we are
If you live, we live.
We are connecting, mother,
with your people we walk,
with your children we claim,
with you we are.

To be a salt of the earth (Matt 5:13) that avoids corruption and to be a guardian that prevents a murderous hand from rising against my brother (Gen.4: 9), the RECONPAZ:
– Accompanies guardian communities of creation such as La Puya.
– Investigates to demonstrate the dispossession strategies of companies and the role of Christians before them.
– We constituted a continental network of youths for peace committed to the defense of the territories.
– Celebrates ecumenical and interreligious public prayers that call for a moral obligation to protect nature.

Why do we do this?, someone asked me. Is not your missionary work announcing the gospel for people to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior? I answered her, the gospel of Jesus Christ is total redemption, the whole gospel for all of Creation. The individual sin and social sin embedded in the economy, politics and social structures must be confronted in order for the kingdom of God to reach the whole Cosmos.
We hear the groans of Creation (Ro.8: 20-22). She told us, someone enslaved me; and in her weeping we hear God calling us to liberate her. If you, like us, hear her cry, join this network, which does not seek to appease and accommodate perversity, but to break the iniquitous order for peace to come. And if you cannot physically join us, pray for us, hold up our hands for peace to come.