The result of the second summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) which took place this January in Cuba was the “Habana Declaration”. This Declaration ratifies preexisting documents issued by international organizations on a variety of topics. It focuses on human rights, native peoples, afro-descendants and migrants.
My attention was drawn by the item declaring the region a “Zone of Peace”. I maintained my interest throughout, while I tried to pair my enthusiasm with any indication suggesting that the governments in this part of the world see peace within its larger meaning.
But what I got was a sense of failure and disappointment. Our regional leadership only sees peace as the antonym of war. We have to say no to war, but this is a topic that does not represent an immediate priority for the citizens.
Our wars are family violence, bullying in schools, the urban war against drug trafficking
The conflicts that millions of women, children and elderly persons face daily in this region are intrafamily violence, bullying in schools, gender violence, the cruel urban battle against drugs, human trafficking or child sexual abuse. There will be more reasons to enjoy life only if the antidotes to these plagues will be made of forms of civic peace.
Those who run our destinies have to realize that there are indispensable forms of peace that need to receive more visibility. Because for example, the deaths caused by femicide and the war for the territorial control of drug trade outnumbered, speaking only for Argentina in 2012 and 2013, the deaths caused by the Falklands war.
The good intentions expressed in the Habana Declaration can be achieved if CELAC shows an urgent commitment to fight these wars which are immersed deeply into the social fabric that needs to be brought out in the open. The cry for help of millions of human beings caught in these wars needs to be heard. They have to know that those who govern them are searching for the peace that they - with all the pain they feel, request from them.
Original title : Para cauterizar las heridas cotidianas de America latina
Published on 8 March 2014, by Clarin, www.clarin.com
Translation by APRED