April 17th marked International Day of Peasant Struggles. This day was launched in Eldorado dos Carajas, Brazil, in 1996, after the assassination of 19 peasants who were members of Brazil’s Landless Rural Workers' Movement (MST), a Development and Peace partner. Around the world, peasants are struggling daily against deforestation, land grabbing, the polluting of water and soil, but also to improve their living conditions.
The people of the Siria Valley in Honduras may have breathed a sigh of relief in 2010 with the closure of the Canadian-owned San Martin gold mine that sits in their midst, but now they must brace themselves for further environmental destruction and depletion of their water supply. In mid-January, after two years of negotiations and opposition from civil society, a new mining law was finally approved by the Honduran Congress.
In Honduras’ mountainous southern department of La Paz, mornings are chilly and the altitude is ideal for coffee growing. Here, the dark-skinned indigenous Lenca people make up 80% of the population. Yet, from the poverty and the discrimination they endure, one might think they were a minority.
In this community, four out of ten children die before they reach the age of two from a poverty-related disease. Most of the girls become pregnant while still minors, and in the community of Santa Elena alone, eleven women died last year in childbirth.
Since the earthquake of January 12, 2010, Development and Peace has been supporting a number of reconstruction projects put forward by various Haitian civil society partners. So, after more than three years, where are we in this extremely complex process of rebuilding a society that was already socio-economically vulnerable and whose weakness was exacerbated even further as a result of this natural disaster?
Development and Peace is greeting with joy the news of the release of 37-year-old journalist Hassan Ruvakuki. A journalist at Radio Bonesha (a Development and Peace partner in Burundi), and a correspondent with Radio France internationale (RFI), Ruvakuki spent 15 months in prison.
It has now been two years since the suited managers of the San Martin open pit gold mine, owned by Goldcorp, packed their bags and left the Siria Valley in central Honduras. They had spent literally hundreds of hours of air time, reassuring the population that the mine hadn’t harmed the surrounding environment.
As proof, they even built an eco-tourism hotel on the mine site, raised cattle and poultry and planted eucalyptus trees everywhere – although the thirsty nature of these in an area with a gradually diminishing water supply seemed to escape them.
Celebrated for over 100 years in numerous countries around the world, International Women’s Day is an occasion to recognize women for their achievements. Victims of all types of violence, they struggle on a daily basis for better access to land, education, work, credit, and property.
Suzanne Slobodian, Fundraising Officer, Major Gifts and Planned Giving
We just launched our "Cross Canada Tour" (5 cities) Monday night in Ottawa and it was with a lot of pride that Mgr Terrence Prendergast (Archbishop of Ottawa) hosted the premiere of the documentary A New Leaf. Mgr Prendergast made the opening remarks of the one-hour panel discussion following the film screening. The hundred participants had the opportunity to ask all their questions to our guests: Fr.
The ongoing conflict in Mali is the result of a complex series of events in which each player has defended their own interests. Secessionist ambitions, control of natural resources, the imposition of sharia, are all claims raised by a variety of national and international actors. After launching a military offensive in early January 2013, French troops supported by African troops have now taken control of almost the entire territory, but the instability persists.
Kelly Di Domenico and Khoudia Ndiaye, Communications Officers
It is appropriate that this year World Day of Social Justice falls during our Share Lent campaign - a moment where we celebrate our commitment and solidarity towards building a just world. Social justice touches on questions of rights, human dignity and solidarity. It is also deeply connected to questions of ecological justice and respect of natural resources with regards to their management, conservation and justice.