It was announced on September 23 that the peace talks which have been ongoing for well over a year in Havana, Cuba between the Colombian government and some guerrilla groups seem to have reached the point where peace accords can be signed in March of 2016. While these accords to not solve many of the ongoing problems that would constitute a full and justice-filled peace, they are one step along the way and for that we are grateful. We celebrate peace even as it unfolds incrementally, knowing that each step gets us to our larger goals.
On the International Day of Peace, September 21, 2015, and on the eve of the visit of Pope Francis to the United States, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship announces a vote to divest its endowment of fossil fuel extraction investments.
For us as a peacemaking organization, turning away from fossil fuels is a peacemaking issue. For us, to follow Christ means to refrain from profiting from investments that we believe will lead to the rawest forms of human violence for survival.
The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship recently co-signed a letter to the Joint Federal Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs with 46 other organizations to request that human rights conditions are included in the fiscal year 2016 budget for foreign assistance for Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Colombia. This is in response to the lessoning and in some cases, removal of these conditions to the U.S. Federal budgeting process. We were joined in signing this letter by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
“I think there’s going to be another revolution.” Hermano Pedro spoke these words to me, nodding slowly, as we sat at the kitchen table drinking sweet coffee and eating bread. That was in early July of this year. We were talking about Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina and the protests that were happening in the capital calling for his resignation. I had asked him what he thought would happen--would Guatemala just wait it out until the September elections or would Molina be forced to resign, just as his vice-president had done a few months earlier?