The Brazilian State of Pará, Where Land is Power

Children at the MST’s Frei Henri des Roziers Camp in Pará, Brazil. Credit: Fabíola Ortiz/IPS

By Fabiola Ortiz

The landless peasant farmers occupying large landholdings in Pará, the Brazilian state where the land conflict is most violent, face threats ranging from intimidation by armed private guards to the spraying of toxic agrochemicals over their homes and crops.

MARABÁ, Brazil, Apr 16 2013 (IPS) – Toiling beneath a blazing sun in the humid heat of the Amazon, Waldemar dos Santos, 60, tends the community garden he shares with other landless peasant farmers in the Brazilian state of Pará, as they wait for agrarian reform to provide them with the opportunity for a better life.
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The Road to Fulfilling Election Promises

Kenya’s new President Uhuru Kenyatta on a military land rover acknowledges greetings from supporters after he was sworn in at the Moi International Sports Centre on Apr. 9. Credit: Brian Ngugi/IPS

By Brian Ngugi

NAIROBI, Apr 16 2013 (IPS) – Kenya’s newly sworn-in President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta may be faced with a number of challenges, including an impending International Criminal Court case and a slow economy. But he must also tackle corruption and ethnic divisions as he embarks on his five-year term as head of state of East Africa’s largest economy.

This is according to newly-elected senator Bonny Khalwale, from Kakamega county in western Kenya.

Khalwale, who is a prominent anti-corruption crusader, told IPS: “What divides this country is not our tribes, it is the unequal distribution of resources, which has ensured that a section of tribes feel alienated.”
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At 50, ‘Pacem in Terris’ guides 21st-century peacebuilding efforts

Catholic News Service

By Dennis Sadowski

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Recognizing the inherent dignity of each person is the greatest weapon anyone has against war and violence, Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, told a conference marking the 50th anniversary of Blessed John XXIII’s encyclical “Pacem in Terris” (“Peace on Earth”).

Peace is intimately connected to working for justice, otherwise violence will be difficult to overcome, Cardinal Turkson said in an address April 10 at The Catholic University of America to about 150 participants in the conference sponsored by the Catholic Peacebuilding Network.

“Peace then is not merely the absence of war and conflict, but it represents … a gift from God,” the cardinal said.
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Pope John XXIII’s prophetic ‘Pacem in Terris’ turns 50

National Catholic Reporter

Tony Magliano 

Just over 50 years ago, the earth as we know it came dangerously close to being engulfed in a nuclear fireball.

In October 1962, the United States commanded the Soviet Union to dismantle and remove nuclear missile sites in Cuba. After the Soviet Union refused, the U.S. established a Cuban naval blockade.

With the situation quickly escalating toward nuclear war, Pope John XXIII issued an urgent appeal for peace.

In a letter to President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, Blessed Pope John XXIII pleaded, “We beg all governments not to remain deaf to this cry of humanity. That they do all that is in their power to save peace. They will thus spare the world from the horrors of a war whose terrifying consequences no one can predict.”
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Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network celebrates 25th anniversary

Some of the singers & dancers

Independent Catholic News

By: Ellen Teague

“Love for the people of Africa has inspired the Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network”, reflected Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald at Saturday’s Jubilee Mass in London to celebrate the Network’s 25th anniversary. The Missionary of Africa and former head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, with experience of working in Egypt, Uganda and Sudan, complimented the missionary congregations who formed the Network in 1988, saying they were inspired by seeing Africans suffering because of unfair trade, debt and the activity of multinational companies. “They realised the former colonial powers had particular responsibilities in relation to Africa” he said, “and greater awareness of issues affecting Africa had to be created amongst decision-makers”.
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