Sunday, July 31, 2011

Survey on attitudes about the environment and climate change by people of faith

From the Catholic Coalition on Climate Change:

"Early this month, we encouraged you to take a survey being conducted by a Duke University PhD candidate for the benefit of the National Religious Partnership on the Environment (NRPE), the Coalition's primary financial sponsor.  The survey is designed to engage attitudes about the environment and climate change by people of faith.

The survey had to be refined and now is being re-issued.  We beg your indulgence and urge you to take the survey (or re-take it even if you completed it the first time).  The data collected will be enormously helpful to each of the four members of NRPE as we seek to communicate more effectively the imperative to care for both creation and those most vulnerable to environmental impacts.  We are reaching out to you specifically—as key allies and important leaders in your communities—to ask that you help our partners understand how people of faith think about this issue by participating in the survey. The questionnaire, will take about 15 minutes to complete and your responses will be kept completely confidential.  Please share with your Catholic networks."

Environmental Activist Sentenced to Prison

7-27-11  AlterNet Editor's Note: Yesterday Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison and was handed a $10,000 fine for bidding on oil and gas drilling leases in an attempt to protect public lands. 
"In these times of a morally bankrupt government that has sold out its principles, this is what patriotism looks like." Read his words to the court.
  RELATED ARTICLE:  "Why Does Massey Energy Get Away With Murder While Environmentalists Are Sent to Prison?"  They violated the Clean Water Act over 4,500 times in a six year time period and are responsible for the deadliest coal mining accident in over 40 years. CLICK HERE to read more.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

El 6 y 9 de agosto: Recordando Hiroshima y Nagasaki

August 6 and 9: We Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki

From a publication by the CSJ's of Orange.  Thanks to Yolanda Tarango for sending it in.

And the skies rained down fire.
Hiroshima.  Nagasaki.
In the gardens of those cities the agony began.
The images of flames, smoke, destruction.
The smell of burning flesh.
The taste of ashes on the tongue.

Hiroshima.  Nagasaki.
We ask forgiveness again, decades later.
And we will continue to ask forgiveness.
Through our acts of contrition,
May we learn to act as peacemakers,
So peace may be the restitution
We offer humanity. Amen
from Center of Concern, Education for Justice

CLICK HERE for a prayer service from Pax Christi USA:  "Hiroshima and Nagasaki:  Never Again"
CLICK HERE for a fact sheet on Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the Center of Concern, Education for Justice
CLICK HERE for "Hiroshima and Nagasaki Remembered"

Friday, July 29, 2011

August 9: U.N. Day for the World's Indigenous People

In 1994, the General Assembly of the United Nations decided that the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People should be observed each year on August 9. 
This year's theme is:  "Indigenous designs: celebrating stories and cultures, crafting our own future."  CLICK HERE for more information.

Pope John Paul II, aware of the challenges facing indigenous peoples wrote: “Unjust economic policies are especially damaging to indigenous peoples, young nations and their traditional cultures; and it is the Church’s task to help indigenous cultures
preserve their identity and maintain their traditions.”

CLICK HERE for a prayer service in observance of U.N. Day for the World's Indigenous Peoples, August 9

9 de agosto: Día Internacional de las Poblaciones Indígenas del Mundo

En 1994, la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas decidió que el Día Internacional de las Poblaciones Indígenas del Mundo se celebra cada año el 9 de agosto.

El tema de este año es: "Los diseños indígenas: la celebración de las historias y las culturas, la elaboración de nuestro propio futuro
".  HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para más información.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Hay ciertos lugares donde viven los espíritus atrapados entre piedras...." Isabel Allende

"Ubicado sobre una montaña en el Perú, la ciudad inca de Machu Picchu del siglo decimoquinto se había sentado en el olvido durante siglos - hasta que el arqueólogo Hiram Bingham comenzó las excavaciones de las ruinas de hace cien años esta semana....Ker Than para National Geographic News

Foto por Michael y Jennifer Lewis, National Geographic

Lectura recomendada: Un libro muy impresionante que es completamente bilingüe es Machu Picchu por el fotógrafo Barry Brukoff.  "Alturas de Macchu Picchu" por el poeta chileno Pablo Neruda es el texto del libro, fotografías del Brukoff presentan imágenes visuales vibrantes. El prólogo de Isabel Allende prepara el escenario:  "Hay ciertos lugares donde viven los espíritus atrapados entre piedras. Esos lugares, construidos por hombres antiguos y hoy abandonados, fueron tan sagrados, que su energía continua vibrando durante siglos...."

"There are places where spirits live trapped among stones...." Isabel Allende

"Nestled atop a mountain ridge in Peru, the 15th Century Inca city of Machu Picchu had sat largely forgotten for centuries -- until archaeologist Hiram Bingham began excavations of the ruins a hundred years ago this week...." 
Ker Than for National Geographic News

Photo:  from the National Geographic web site (definitely worth perusing this site -- has interesting information on Machu Picchu)

Recommended reading:  A profoundly reflective book which is completely bilingual is Machu Picchu by photographer Barry Brukoff.  Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's work, "The Heights of Macchu Picchu" is the text of the book while  Brukoff's photographs present vibrant visual images.   The prologue by Isabel Allende sets the stage:  "There are places where spirits live trapped among stones.  Those places, constructed by ancient man and today abandoned, were so sacred that their energy continues to vibrate through the centuries...."

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Defensores de Derechos Humanos

Si reenvías este video ayudarás a lograr un millón de vistas que representarán un millón de declaraciones que recomiendan al Estado la protección de las y los defensores de derechos humanos.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

El asesinato de Ángel Castillo Corona, columnista

RSF/IFEX) - 8 de julio de 2011 - Reporteros sin Fronteras expresa su consternación por el asesinato de Ángel Castillo Corona, columnista de los periódicos Puntual y Diario de México, ocurrido el 4 de julio de 2011 en Tianguistenco, en el estado de México (este). La violencia contra la prensa parece no tener fin. La organización hace un llamado a las autoridades para que reflexionen a fondo sobre la protección de los periodistas y demuestren su compromiso en la lucha contra la impunidad. Reporteros sin Fronteras coincide con las declaraciones hechas por la Alta Comisionada de la Organización de Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos, Navi Pillay, quien durante su visita al país expresó su preocupación por la situación de los periodistas mexicanos.   HAGA CLIC AQUÍ  para leer más. 

Educación Para La Paz

Gracias a Marichui por esta informacion sobre "Educación Para La Paz." 

“Estos son dos documentos que elaboró un amigo mío, Carlos Manuel Carrasco Alcalá.  Fue mi maestro en la normal de Torreón y ahora está en la Pastoral Social de la Diócesis de Torreón.   El nos compartió este material con la esperanza de colaborar en el camino de construcción de paz.”       Marichui

HAGA CLIC AQUI para ver un powerpoint:  “Estrategia de Educación para la Paz.”

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ  para ver el artículo:  "Educación y Cultura de la Paz"

The Illusive Nature of Poverty

Thanks to Cristina Vargas for sending the article by Dominic Liche at the Jesuit Center for Theological Reflection in Lusaka, Zambia. 

Overview:  Poverty is as old as humanity itself. Factors that contribute to poverty include heritage and status at birth, lack of access to opportunities that ensure that a person has what he or she needs, disease without good access to good healthcare, lack of informal or/and formal education so that one has skills to live a good life, hopelessness in life, unfair global relations and relations between the rich and poor, national policies that only benefit the rich. The fight against poverty is as old as poverty itself where people are continuously working hard to come out of poverty and communities and institutions working to help people come out of poverty. Despite these individual and institutional efforts, the intensity of poverty continues to deepen even when figures suggest reductions in numbers of the poor. Dominic Liche asserts that because of its complexity, poverty is illusive and difficult to fight when looked at in a simplistic, mechanical way.

REALITY OF POVERTY I often wonder what the world’s agenda is in fighting poverty in the world especially in Africa. When organisations, individuals, governments say they are fighting poverty, what really are they fighting? Whose poverty are they fighting? What are the measurements in determining that any strategy in fighting poverty actually works? Does one agenda in fighting poverty work across the globe? Who should determine how poverty should be fought – the person fighting poverty or the person in poverty? This last question is a very crucial one, given that in most cases, it is the person with the means and ideas to fight poverty that determines first, what poverty is, and second, how to deal with that poverty as defined by him or her.  CLICK HERE to read the full article. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Declaración de la Organización Kichwaruna "Wangurina"

Gracias a Victor Mendoza y a Anne Marie Burke por esta información.

La Organización Kichwaruna Wankurina del Alto Napo – ORKIWAN hace de conocimiento al Presidente de la República del Perú, Dr. Alan G. L. García Pérez, al Presidente Electo de la República Ollanta Humala Tasso, Al Congreso de la República, al Consejo de Ministros, Al Presidente del Gobierno Regional de Loreto, a las demás autoridades y a la Opinión Pública, en relación al Lote 117 concesionada por el Estado peruano al Consorcio PETROBRAS (PETROBRAS ENERGIA PERU S.A., ECOPETROL DEL PERU S.A. e INPEX NORTH PERU LTD, SUCURSAL DEL PERU), lo siguiente: 

 1. Que, el Estado peruano ha pasado por alto nuestro derecho fundamental de todo pueblo indígena ha ser consultado: en el año 2006 PERUPETRO S.A. ha licitado el Lote 117 a la Empresa PETROBRAS ENERGÍA PERÚ S.A., la misma que ocupa los territorios ancestrales de los pueblos Kichwas, Siekoyas y Witotos, dentro de los distritos de Teniente Manuel Clavero, Putumayo, Torres Causana y el Napo, además de ocupar la Zona Reservada Güeppi, esto se hizo sin mediar el proceso de consulta previa, de buena fe, libre e informada que gozamos gracias al Convenio 169 OIT ratificada en 1993 por nuestro país mediante Resolución Legislativa N° 26253 y que está consagrada en los artículos 6, 7 y 14 del mencionado convenio.  HAGA CLIC AQUI para leer más.

Prominent Christians, Jews and Muslims Unite to Protect Funding for Poverty Assistance Programming

Thanks to Martha Ann Kirk for sending in this information from the "OMI Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation" online publication.

Representing a growing movement of Americans concerned that the Administration and Congress are enacting a budget deal that will place an undue burden on the poor “while shielding the wealthiest from any additional sacrifice,” leaders representing the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths today launched a new campaign to encourage policymakers to maintain a robust U.S. commitment to domestic and international poverty programs.  Fr. William Antone, OMI joined the other national faith leaders in issuing this call.

Inspired by a common spiritual conviction that God has called on all Americans to protect the vulnerable and promote the dignity of all individuals living in society, the interfaith coalition is aiming to protect those struggling to overcome poverty in the U.S. and abroad and to exclude programs that protect people in poverty from the budget deficit debates.
CLICK HERE to read more.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rainwater collection making a splash as drought continues

Thanks to Helen Ballew for this timely article on rainwater harvesting.  Helen says, "Ken Kirlin is my family’s vet and a friend.  His clinic is just down the street from us and we watched this go up – and witnessed his struggles to get bank financing for this progressive green project.  Another friend in the Texas Hill Country recently passed along a sign they saw on a fence out in the country.  It said something like:  'don’t pray for rain ‘til you manage what you’ve got.'  Interesting thought…."

As one of the hottest and driest summers on record constricts outdoor water use, more homeowners and businesses are tapping their own private supplies of rainwater and air-conditioning condensation.

While not typically designed to act as the main source of water, a rainwater harvesting system can help offset the costs of irrigation, promote conservation, provide an alternative to watering restrictions during a severe drought and, in a small way, reduce flooding and clean streams.

Rainwater is collected using gutters to channel water from the roof to a storage tank or a barrel rather than to the ground, sidewalks and streets. The stored water can then be released gradually.

Kenneth Kirlin, owner of Eagle Veterinary Hospital, included three 3,100-gallon tanks next to his new building at 4701 McCullough Ave.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Immigration: Balanced policy badly needed

From Maryknoll News Notes, July/August 2011, Vol. 36, No. 4

On May 10, President Obama gave a speech on immigration reform in El Paso, igniting hopes that this long-neglected issue would move to the center of the national political arena as the U.S. heads into another election cycle. But with little appetite for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) in either the House or Senate, the battle over the fate of millions of migrants and undocumented persons continues to be waged in individual states with disconcerting results. Since the passage of Arizona's notorious SB1070 immigration law, described by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as "draconian," four states have passed similar pieces of legislation. The following article was written by Ashley McKinless, a University of Virginia student and an intern with the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns.

Until the federal government takes the lead in enacting just and humane immigration reform, a patchwork of state laws will threaten the human rights and dignity of immigrants and their families, as well as the safety and solidarity of entire communities across the U.S. Despite the president's commitment to "keep up the fight to pass genuine, comprehensive reform," the administration's record and rhetoric on immigration are unsettling.

In El Paso, President Obama pointed to the escalation of border security and intensified deportation efforts purportedly focused on violent offenders and convicted criminals, saying his administration has " gone above and beyond what was requested by the very Republicans who said they supported broader reform as long as we got serious about enforcement."  CLICK HERE to read more.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Obama Administration seeks to halt Texas execution of Mexican national, Humberto Leal Garcia

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Peru Indigenous Struggle for Justice

From Maryknoll News Notes, July/August 2011, Vol. 36, No. 4

On May 2, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns brought Trinidad Carlos Serna, a human rights lawyer from Peru, to the United Nations so that she could present the case of the indigenous people of Peru's Puno region and their great struggle against the devastation to their lands being caused by mining corporations with the collusion of the Peruvian government. While the information was well received by those who heard her compelling story, the Peruvian ambassador to the UN remained completely unresponsive.

On June 24, five people were killed and dozens injured when those protesting the mining concessions broke fences and ran into the airstrip of Juliaca's international airport. Following is a public statement from Catholic leaders in the diocese:

Faced with the tragic events of June 24, as priests, nuns, committed laity and various institutions within the Diocese of Puno, we consider it our evangelical duty to speak out publicly. First, our condolences to the families of the peasant brothers who have been killed and we express our solidarity to the more than 30 persons who were wounded by bullets and buckshot, some of whom were maimed for life.

We find that the inhabitants of the Ramis river basin for years have been peacefully lobbying the central government for effective action against the semiformal and informal mining that is polluting their fields, their animals and their own lives. In making this claim they are also asking for the health of us all, because the pollution reaches Lake Titicaca and affects the food and water we consume in the region.

The government of Alan Garcia, however, did not take seriously the requests, took a pro-mining stance, and did not meet the covenants agreed upon while they let time pass until conflict broke out, as happened in Moquegua, Bagua and Islay. And when in the midst of the strike, a mob tried and partly took the city's Manco Capac airport, the DINOES police and those of the USE from Lima, backed by the soldiers stationed in Puno, acted not as deterrents, but responded by bullying and shooting at close range. There, people like Antonio Campos Huanca, who were not protesting, were killed and others were injured.

CLICK HERE to read more.


Gracias a Victor Mendoza por mandar este artículo.

          Frente a los luctuosos sucesos del 24 de junio en Juliaca, sacerdotes, religiosas, laicos (as) comprometidos(as) y diversas instituciones del ámbito de la diócesis de Puno, consideramos nuestro deber evangélico pronunciarnos públicamente. Nuestra primera palabra es de condolencia a los familiares de los cinco hermanos campesinos asesinados y de solidaridad con los más de 30 heridos de bala y perdigones, algunos de los cuales quedarán lisiados de por vida.
Constatamos que los habitantes de la cuenca del río Ramis desde hace años han venido reclamando pacíficamente ante el gobierno central una acción efectiva frente a la minería semiformal e informal que ha contaminado sus campos, sus animales y sus propias vidas. Al hacer este reclamo ellos están también  pidiendo por la salud de todos nosotros, pues esa contaminación llega hasta el lago Titicaca y afecta los alimentos y el agua que consumimos en la región.
El gobierno de Alan García, sin embargo, no tomó en serio estas peticiones,  llevó una  política pro-minera, no cumplió los pactos acordados y dejó pasar el tiempo hasta que estalló el conflicto, como también ocurrió en Moquegua, Bagua e Islay. Y cuando en medio de la huelga, una turba intentó y en parte tomó el aeropuerto Manco Cápac de esta ciudad, policías de la DINOES y de la USE de Lima, apoyados por militares asentados en Puno, actuaron no en forma disuasiva, sino matonesca y disparando  a quemarropa. Ahí fueron heridas y asesinadas incluso personas que  no estaban protestando, como don Antonio Campos Huanca (58).
Estas muertes y graves agresiones contra la vida no pueden quedar impunes. Tiene que responder judicialmente el gobierno central, que es lento para dar soluciones y rápido para la represión. También tienen que responder judicialmente la policía y los militares.  Los huelguistas y sus dirigentes tienen que asumir sus responsabilidades y revisar autocríticamente su actuación en este fatídico 24 de junio, así como deslindar con infiltrados y provocadores presentes en su reclamo y exigir, previa investigación, sanciones para ellos.  HAGA CLIC AQUI para leer más.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Mercy Sisters call for end to deportations

from the National Catholic Reporter, June 27, 2011

CHICAGO -- Hundreds of silhouettes were planted like garage sale signs on the lawn at St. Xavier University in Chicago, the white writing on the black paper giving only the name and country of an immigrant recently deported or facing deportation. These faces represented only a fraction of the nearly 400,000 people deported from the United States every year, but behind each was a story of a family torn apart.
The number of deportations has risen under the Obama Administration, prompting faith-based organizations to advocate for families being ripped apart by the process.  CLICK HERE to read more.

I don't have to be afraid of the border anymore

from the National Catholic Reporter, July 1, 2011

Tucson, Ariz. -- What Leo Guardado most remembers about crossing the border back in 1991 was moving along in moonlit shadows, trying, as a 9-and-a-half-year-old, to stay low and to keep his own shadow from showing.
He realizes, as he talks about it, that most of his memories of that 26-day trip play out in moonlight, because it was almost always night when he and his mother, Maria, and about seven others from their small hamlet in Chalatenango, a northern province in El Salvador, moved through deserts and jungle-like terrain and crossed rivers to get to Tijuana, Mexico, and the short final scramble to San Diego.  CLICK HERE to read more.