Culture of peace in Latin America
The elections of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico, Gabriel Boric in Chile, Jose Pedro Castillo in Peru, and Gustavo Petro in Colombia, as well as the potential for the election of Lula da Silva in Brazil are being considered as a “second progressive wave.”
It is compared to a “first progressive wave” from 2008 to 2016 when Latin leaders included Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Luz Ignacio Lula da Silva in Brazil, Nestor Kirchner in Argentina, Rafael Correa in Ecuador, and Evo Morales in Bolivia.
During the earlier wave, CELAC, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, issued a declaration proclaiming their region as a “zone of peace”. One of the points in their declaration was “The promotion in the region of a culture of peace based, inter alia, on the principles of the United Nations Declaration on a Culture of Peace”.
The culture of peace figues strongly in the new wave.
In Colombia, “the government has considered implementing a “Pact for Total Peace” that includes not only the implementation of the existing agreement and the creation of others with other illegal armed agents, but it goes beyond the end of the conflict in the territories”.
The victory of the left in Colombia and the potential normalization of relations between Colombia and Venezuela promises to bring renewed peace to that Latin American region.
Also in Colombia, the City of Medellin involved more than 1300 young people in the Week for Disarmament, “to consolidate a culture of peace and Non-Violence in the city of Medellín”.
In Honduras, newly-elected President Xiomara Castro is instituting “Mesas de seguridad ciudadana” within the framework of the Community Police in 298 municipalities. She explains that “I want to promote a culture of peace and citizen participation in our country with preventive actions, establishing bonds of trust and proximity between the Police and the community”.
In Mexico, “the Government of Jalisco has begun work on its first “State Culture of Peace Program“, one of the main instruments derived from the state’s Culture of Peace Law, designed to reduce the various forms of violence that occur there”.
Also in Mexico, 10 cities in the Yucatan have signed agreements to “to coordinate efforts to strengthen the culture of peace”.
In Chile, the new Constitution promises to transform the country “from a ‘democratic republic’ to a ‘parity democracy’. . . (so) . . . that women occupy at least 50% of all State bodies,” and “proposes to take measures to achieve substantive equality and parity”.
In Bolivia, this year has been declared the “Year of the Cultural Revolution for De-patriarchalization, seeking to establish structural solutions to curb the persistent cases of violence against women in the country.”
In the Dominican Republic, “the Dominican College of Journalists (CDP) and the National Conflict Resolution System (Sinarec) have signed an agreement to promote a culture of peace at the national level through workshops, courses, seminars and other forms of education”.
The first progressive wave was suppressed by North American imperialism in collaboration with right-wing forces in Brazil and Bolivia and attacked by economic sanctions and in some cases military threats against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicarague.
Will the new wave be able to resist these pressures?
In Brazil, where one of its candidates was recently assassinated, the Workers Party of Lula is resisting explicitly by way of the culture of peace, offering a workship on “Culture of Peace and Militant Self-protection“.
Among his campaign promises Lula says he will “defend the integration of South America, Latin America and the Caribbean, with a view to maintaining regional security and promoting development, based on productive complementarity”. Earlier, he promised to create “a pan-Latin American currency, in order to be freed of the dollar”.
Brazil is already a member of the BRICS alignment which promises freedom from domination by the dollar, and most recently Argentina has asked to join.
In Mexico, the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador has proposed to replace the Organization of American States which is dominated by the United States with an organization that is independent like CELAC.
Referring to the two progressive waves, Evo Morales says, “Those times are returning, We need to again consolidate these democratic revolutions for the good of humanity. I have a lot of hope. In politics we must ask ourselves: are we with the people or are we with the empire?”
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