Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tocoa base communities on the Aguan violence

Reflections on the conflict in Aguan

In the July 8 meeting of the pastoral workers of the Tocoa sector of the Parish of Saint Isidore the Worker, concerned about the conflicts in the Aguan zone and especially the killings of campesinos and members of our church, we offer the faithful, pastoral workers, and conscientious persons of varied organizations the following reflections.

The Catholic Church is, by its calling, the untiring seeker of truth and freedom. We seek justice based in respect for the truth. We seek the Law based on respect for freedom. When there are such great conflicts as the conflict in Bajo Aguan, we have the obligation to seek in Justice and the Law the ways which will help us live in Truth and in Freedom.

Faithful to this search, the parish of St. Isidore the Worker opts,  as did our Lord Jesus, for the persons who are the persons who was the poorest and marginalized in our society. We do this so that the poor and marginalized also can live the values of Truth and Freedom by knowing and respecting Justice and the Law. But this option for the poor and the defense of their rights does not mean approving violent methods, because we reject violence, no matter its source. And, above all, we reject the violence that comes from the abuse of power and money, which twist justice, buying off judges and lawyers.

In the face of violent events in the zone of Aguan, we declare:

1. We condemn the killing of our companion and brother GREGORIO CHÁVEZ, who was disappeared Monday July2 and whose body was found Friday, June 6, in the farm of Paso Aguan, in lot Lumber 8, property of Grupo Dinant of Mr. MIGUEL FACUSSÉ, in the zone of the community of Panamá.

2. We condemn every type of violence which happens in the Aguan zone – by the defense of land and by drug-trafficking and by organized crime.

3. We demand that the Public Ministry and Human Rights Organizations make an in-depth investigation  which guarantees clearing up all the killing and bloody deeds which have happened in recent years so that the Law may be applied to all those responsible for these acts.

4. We demand a sincere dialogue by the government, interest for the common good, respect for life and human dignity, good will from all parts of the conflict, in order to find a way out of so much crime and shedding of blood which causes mourning in  so many poor families.

5. We ask the God of love and justice to strengthen our hope to continue demanding a more just and dignified lie for our sister and brother campesinos in the Valley of Aguan.

Together we pray to our Lord that there no more will blood continue to be shed in our communities,  which causes mourning and sorrow in our families.

Tocoa, Colón, July 15, 2012  
Comunidades Eclesiales de Base del sector de Tocoa/
Church base communities of the Tocoa sector
Parroquia San Isidro Labrador/Saint Isidore the Worker Parish

The Spanish original can be found here.