Insecurity, armed violence and territorial disputes are an alarming reality that affects the lives of millions of people in Mexico and has a serious effect on human rights.  Whether due to incompetence or collusion, the authorities – at different levels of government – are overwhelmed by this reality, which is characterized by the growing pressure exerted by organized crime.  This situation is aggravated by the effects of global economic and climate crises that exacerbate structural violence.  All of these circumstances entail significant challenges that need to be addressed through peacebuilding.

It is with this in mind that the International Forum on Peacebuilding in Mexico: Challenges and Keys in the Current Context will take place in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, on Tuesday 25 October.  The Forum will bring dozens of people together to exchange knowledge, reflections and experiences on how to confront the diversification and escalation of violence in the country from a peacebuilding perspective.

This Forum will be held in parallel with the first in-person meeting and public presentation of the Platform for Peacebuilding in Mexico.  This platform has been a space for dialogue and synergy for the past two years and has brought together people and organizations linked to the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC), Civil Service for Peace, of Pan del Mundo, and the First International Forum on Peacebuilding in Mexico, which took place in Barcelona in 2019 and was organized by ICIP.

Peacebuilding trends

Structured around four roundtables, the Forum will first address global issues on challenges and trends in peacebuilding.  It will also address more specific issues on the impact of direct, structural and cultural violence, highlighting the initiatives carried out by a wide range of actors to revert this violence and to chart paths towards a positive, just and sustainable peace.

Speakers who have already confirmed their participation include academics and activists such as Jenny Pearce, Dominic Barter, Marta Ruiz, Guillem Trejo, Yésica Sánchez Maya, Luis Jorge Garay, Abel Barrera, Marcela Turati, Rodrigo Aguilar and Pietro Amegli.  Other featured participants include Lina Ibáñez and Carla Ríos from the “Diálogos Improbables” platform and Col·lectiu Marabunta respectively, as well as other civil society organizations.  Nobel Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel will be joining the meeting virtually.

In the three days following the Forum, members of the Platform for Peacebuilding in Mexico will attend internal working sessions designed to develop a common vision regarding the various different challenges to peace that the country is facing, and to provide the Platform with its own strategies and methodologies.  One of the working sessions will consist of a dialogue and an exchange of experiences, insights and reflections with social and community processes from a peace perspective.