Saturday, November 22, 2014

SOA Watch Vigil Remembers Massacred of Jesuits, Preferential Option for Poor, Promotion of Justice and Non-Violence in Latin America

This November marks the 25th anniversary of the massacre at the University of Central America. As we call out the names of the martyrs killed by SOA graduates and respond “Presente!” we will also recognize the connections to struggles today at the Mexico-US border, the slaughter of the 43 young Mexican activists, the community-opposed Escobal mine in Guatemala, the militarization and oppression in Honduras and Colombia and the communities like Ferguson, Missouri all across the Americas facing militarized police forces.  In the quote below we hear the voice of Ignacio Ellacuria echo today...( In the U.S. Catholic Universities like Jesuit-run Marquette in Milwaukee accept federal dollars for a ROTC program for all branches of the military -- and teach reflexive killing. 
En la lucha, Janice

November 17
Blessed Among Us
Ignacio Ellacuria and Companions
Jesuit Martyrs of El Salvador  (d. 1989)
Twenty-five years go, in the early morning hours of November 16, 1989, army commandos invaded the University of Central America in San Salvador, roused the sleeping Jesuit community, and sprayed them with machine-gun fire on the garden lawn. The victims included six Jesuit priests along with their housekeeper and her teenaged daughter.
For years the Jesuits had angered the ruling elite by siding with the oppressed in the bitter social conflict that divided the country. Spanish-born Ignacio Ellacuria, rector of the university, had emerged as a particularly effective advocate of national dialogue and a critic of injustice. For his efforts he was derided in right-wing propaganda as the “brains” of the “communist” movement. The Jesuits were no communists. They were priests who struggled to live out the Church’s preferential option for the poor and who had committed themselves to the Jesuit mission: “service of faith and promotion of justice.” They had committed the university to this same mission, believing that in a world of conflict a Christian university must stand with the victims of violence.

During a rebel offensive that spread to the capital city, top military commanders issued an order to eliminate all suspected leftist sympathizers. The Jesuit-run University was among the targets. The massacre of the UCA martyrs was the grim conclusion of a decade that began with the death of Archbishop Oscar Romero. Peace negotiations, begun the next year, were concluded in 1992.

On Saturday morning, Olga Lucia Alvarez and Janice Sevre -Duszynska  drove about an hour from Columbus to Lumpkin, Georgia where 1,000 peacemakers from our SOAW vigil gathered in front of the courthouse to rally against unjust immigration laws and inhumane for-profit detention centers .  Across the street people were taking photos outside this "Christian Gun Sales" shop.  How ironic!
Roy Bourgeois and Barbara Zeman RCWP

Always remember that there is no conversion to God if there is no conversion to the oppressed.”
                                                 Ignacio Ellacuria, SJ
From Blessed Among Us by Robert Ellsberg

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