Father Joel on the Caravan

Originally published in Spanish by the Diocese of San Cristo'bal de Las Casas

Translated by irlandesa

CGFP 0301
SUBJECT: Concerning the "Caravan of Dignity" Saturday, March 3, 2001.

Lic. Vicente Fox Quesada
President of the Mexican United States
Los Pinos
Mexico, D.F.

Señor President:

History tells us that the marginalization and forgetting of these indigenous peoples, whom we accompany and serve pastorally, became so great, that one day they themselves decided that arms would speak, seeking, through this means, a response.

But civil society throughout the country said NO to war, and words and reason began speaking until the signing of the "San Andre's Accords," on one happy day in the month of February of 1996. These "Accords" were turned into a "Legislative Proposal" which seeks, from this point on within the law, a new page in our Constitution.

Unexpectedly, one of the signing parties (the Government at that time) said NO afterwards to what they had signed, and turned the war against us once again - it might not, perhaps, have happened - and death was brought to us once again, in the Acteal massacre, in the Northern region, and that black day in Union Progreso and in Chavajeval in the municipality of San Juan del Bosque.

The words of your Government brought us new hope that what is still undone might yet be fulfilled.

And now, each step of "the caravan of indigenous dignity" confirms for us that the path of war is being closed forever, and that Mexico has once again become a great "table of dialogue," in which all of us have an inalienable place.

The Church also wishes to take its place, in order to continue to contribute what is incumbent upon it for the agreement and building of peace.

Sincerely, in the God of Peace.

Joel Padro'n Gonza'lez
Private Secretary
Diocese of San Cristo'bal de Las Casas.

Conflict in Chiapas: Understanding the Modern Mayan World
by Worth H. Weller, Ben Weller (Photographer), Julia Weller (Photographer)
$16.95, Paperback, March 1, 2000
Rebellion in Chiapas : An Historical Reader
by John Womack (Editor)
$14.36, Paperback , March 1999
Voices from Exile : Violence and Survival in Modern Maya History
by Victor Montejo
$18.17, Hardcover, October 1999
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