Entreculturas mobilized for Roraima’s defence

Madrid, Malaga, Almeria and Seville had the chance to listen Ester Tello and Luis Ventura's words, a married couple from Malaga, that have been living in Roraima for six years and who claim than indigenous land, even they belong to indigenous people by law, they are being occupied and cultivated with an economical purpose by the rice farmers. This action is developed in the denounce campaign started in Brazil and collected in Roberto Jaramillo's announcement, Regional Superior of the Jesuits in the Amazon.

"We are a married couple from Malaga that arrived to Brazil in February 2002. These six years have been extremely intense and nice. Besides the birth of our three children, we have been witness of meetings that have deeply marked us, mainly with the indigenous in Roraima and with the natural people in the outskirts, Boa Vista. And we are lay Consolata Missionaries and in this idea we have been in Brazil all this time.

Between 2002 and 2006 we worked in Raposa Serra do Sol indigenous land, coordination a Training Centre for indigenous young people. Through this experience we could feel closer the difficulties and hopes of these people, we walked together with the indigenous young people and lived through the conflict (the kidnapping of missionaries' colleagues and the fire in the centre in September 2005 that practically destroyed everything we had). We were witness of how indigenous always react against violence with more work, more unity and more patience. A great role model!.

Between 2006 and 2008 we lived in Boa Vista, Roraima's capital. We keep on accompanying the indigenous reality and we also started to work with communities in the outskirts, with activities for the young people and solidarity economy groups, as well as in one School of Faith and Politics. 

Our idea, now we are visiting Spain, is that some activities may have a sensibilization and pressure effect over the Brazilian authorities. As you will know everything depends on a decision of the Supreme Court Decision, that can finished with more than 30 years of fight and that can happen at any moment. Our main aim is to denounce this situation, as well as link these events with the general menace that the Amazon is suffering".


Entrecultura´s presence in Roraima

Entreculturas has been supporting the work of a travelling team in the Amazon for five years. This group consists of members of many religious and lay organizations that travel along the Amazonian rivers to work together with communities in the main problems that threaten not only the land but also the people. The main challenge of this team is to strength the social network by creating solidarity nets of action-reflection among the groups, communities, organizations and institutions in both sides of the Amazon borders to make them being able in one side of acting in defence or their fundamental rights and in the other side, guarantee their existence and keep their own identity.

In connection with the Latin American Jesuit Migrant Service (JMS-Lac), Entreculturas has been in the 5th Latin American Jesuit Migrant Service (JMS-Lac) meeting that took place in Cochabamba (Bolivia). This meeting was attended also for representatives of Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador.

The Jesuit Migrant Service in Latin America is a net of institutions and projects linked to the Society of Jesus in Latin America working in migration issues in a specific way or as another of their tasks. JMS-Lac developed inside three geographical fields affected by migration: origin, transit and destiny sites. With this aim the JMS-Lac focuses in three flows: Central America-USA, Caribbean and South America- Spain.

The meeting was focused on the attention to the "boundary" people promoted by the General Congregation 35 and the perspective of how migrations are affecting to the North and South societies as a global phenomenon.

In this meeting progress regarding Institutional strengthening process of the Jesuit Migrant Service in Latin America were made, promoting the relation in the region regarding migration between South countries (mainly Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile), between Ecuador and Colombia and finally between South countries (mainly Ecuador and Bolivia) and Spain.

The aim for this year focuses on three main fields of the Jesuit Migrant Service work: social-pastoral accompaniment, research and political-organizational field. 

Entreculturas supports from the beginning the strengthening of the JMS-Lac and has cooperated in many projects apart from being in connection with the JMS in Spain, that  coordinates the Society of Jesus working on migration issues in our country.

The meeting also allows us to approach to internal migration reality in the Bolivian regions of Cochabamba and Potosí. During this meeting we have felt again than only when we start walking and go out to find we begin to see reality from the bared feet of the people who are looking for a better future.