Another key aspect distinguishes the Guatemalan experience. In contrast with El Salvador, the Guatemalan peace accords include a Socioeconomic Accord stipulating a 50 percent tax increase to finance accord implementation. Presently, effective private sector resistance to tax increases has required several reschedulings of the accords while Guatemala remains one of the countries with the lowest tax rates in Latin America.
Here, the last round of peace negotiations failed. However, in contrast with previous attempts, business involvement in negotiations has been on the rise. In addition, the question of private sector involvement in conflict as well as peacebuilding has, more than ever, been on the agenda of both companies and associations in Colombia.
In contrast with Central America, more Colombian companies have been involved in peacebuilding and philanthropic activities, notwithstanding the events at the negotiating table. Different business-led peace initiatives at the regional and local levels have spawned projects motivated by the belief that the development of conflict-ridden areas will likely bring peace sooner than official negotiations.
While most private companies do not invest their own financial resources, but rather serve as intermediaries of international and public funding, the willingness to invest managerial know-how and time may develop into an important private sector contribution to sub-national development, and possibly, peace.
Different factors explain this business-peace relationship. As a result, entrenched rural interests—such as those that led most of the opposition in Central America—are comparatively weaker in Colombia while industrial, financial, commercial, and even an incipient service industry have developed vigorously.
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In addition, as in pre-negotiation El Salvador, the Colombian conflict is increasingly interfering with economic activity. While many costs associated with conflict were internalized during decades of conflict as in Guatemala , an increase in conflict intensity during the past years has affected a growing number of sectors of production.
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This is not a consensual view, however. Shortly before talks broke down in Colombia, business associations convened a national, publicly broadcast meeting to pay homage to the Armed Forces. As in Central America, many Colombian business people have been found to support paramilitary activity to protect their companies and property.
This may explain their willingness to pay higher taxes to support the military effort, an important contrast with the Central American countries where the availability of other resources prevented governments from exacting taxes from business. However, ongoing business support of a get-tough policy is not necessarily guaranteed. Meanwhile, business-led peace initiatives are reaching wider audiences with the compelling message that the solution might not be solely of a military nature. When it does, as suggested by the Salvadoran and Guatemalan cases, it will be crucial to incorporate the private sector in the negotiations.
This inclusion will have advantages and disadvantages; as shown by the Salvadoran case, a closed business front may ensure an efficient transition from conflict to peace. However, this closed front can also impose limits on the agenda that may alienate other actors. In contrast, the Guatemalan case suggests that a divided business community, of which important parts are not involved in the process, can also compromise peace stability. Notably, both cases imply that the whole business community need not be in full support of the peace project—only a critical mass of peace stakeholders is required.
This mass is growing in Colombia. Research for this article was made possible by grants from Colciencias and from the London School of Economics. The subject of forgiveness and reconciliation is, in a certain sense, new. Psychology ignored this subject for a very long time and only recently has begun to give importance to the personal processes of forgiveness and reconciliation. Throughout the years, forgiveness was thought as something upon which priests and churches had a monopoly. I met with him a couple of times, but they were quite significant meetings.
I remember on one occasion, I was trying to suggest that hatred and anger primarily affect the person who experiences those feelings.
That man was Manuel Marulanda, also known as Tirofijo, chief director of the FARC Colombian Armed Revolutionary Forces , who was remembering with bitter rage all his family members who were cruelly murdered during the violence of the s. He was and is still now nicknamed Tirofijo—sure-shot—because he knew how to avenge himself by flawless shooting. Every time I saw him I was perplexed by the contrasting expressions on his face. On one hand, he had expressions full of hate and resentment towards the official government.
But on the other, one would see in his eyes a nostalgic desire for peace and tranquility in his life. Could it be that in reality vengeance is a human necessity or more to the point, a collective blindness? Could it be that forgiveness is possible? Could it be that reconciliation makes some sense?
How can one achieve forgiveness and reconciliation without sacrificing truth and justice? I very well understood that in the case of violence in Colombia, political peace alone was not enough, and that in addition it was necessary to construct social peace. How then can we popularize forgiveness and reconciliation and not allow them to remain solely as a privilege of those who were close to their churches or who could pay the high costs of psychologists and psychiatrists?
The Role of Civil Society
The studies conducted on violence normally give more weight to its objective causes socio-economic and political deficiencies than to its subjective causes settling accounts, emotional manipulation, including rage, hatred, resentment and the desire for vengeance. The fact that rage at being poor makes that person even poorer is something that is commonly ignored.
It is not a matter of anesthetizing social conscience, but rather of finding constructive ways to achieve justice and peace. It is a matter of remembering but with other eyes. In fact, the individual rage and resentment of a person end up accumulating over time, rather than being forgotten, and even worse for communal development, this rage and hatred are also collective, ethnic, and among groups. At the crux of these reflections, I began to understand that forgiveness and reconciliation could not continue to exist as a monopoly held by churches and priests.
On the contrary, it was necessary to convert them into indispensable elements of everyday life. For many years, we were taught to practice forgiveness and vertical reconciliation with God and soon we forgot about forgiveness and horizontal reconciliation with our neighbors.
Our thinking was that while the government and institutions —reasonably enough—worried about achieving political peace in our country, in the whole drama of the conflict and violence that Colombia suffers through, other initiatives to construct social peace at the base of Colombian society were necessary as well. Thousands of Colombians have suffered through the cruelty of violence; they keep the rage, hatred, resentment and desires of vengeance to themselves. After they complete their training, they inaugurate neighborhood schools of forgiveness and reconciliation.
The motivator along with the chosen students get together in private homes, in classrooms, in churches, in public spaces or in agreed upon places and tries to replicate the experience that he himself has previously lived through during his training. It is then a form of group exercise, where the accumulated wisdom of the participants is converted into valuable support for those individuals that have been victims of all sorts of violence. Until now, the social sciences have done a laudable job with regards to conflict resolution, mediation, conciliation, arbitrage, and similar activities.
In fact, theoretical work of great value and trained personnel both exist in that sense. However, people's hearts have yet to be reached by touching those spaces where effective solutions are created and fostering the ability to coexist on a long-term basis. The heart is where violence is born, and thus it is there where peace and agreement can be reborn. The participants of the ESPERE schools basically learn to transform their rage, their hatred and resentment, and thus to promote concrete actions that take them not to the escalation of violence but to a state of forgiveness and reconciliation.
The ten modules mentioned have been carefully designed tofacilitate the difficult and complex road to forgiveness and reconciliation. These 10 steps are:. These ten work modules are structured within a common framework: a safe environment, case presentation, theoretical inspiration, commitment and ritual.
These modules and the route they take are filled with a strong symbolic concentration, where the colors, aromas, music, rituals, games, representations, and agreements play an important role.
Without pretending that the ESPERE schools are some sort of miraculous cure, significant changes are being noted in the transformation of familial and neighborhood conflicts. Violence within families seems to have decreased, along with a marked strengthening of personal and communal relationships.
Those attending the School of Forgiveness and Reconciliation talk about important changes in their own reality: they regain a sense of meaning in their lives, their sense of security, and community belonging. In this celebration, those who have been victims of any form of violence or injustice have the opportunity to bear witness to their tragedy, to receive recognition for their pain along with restitution, most of the times symbolic, offered by their neighborhood community. The ESPERE Schools have begun to diversify their services over time with schools for teenagers, smaller children, church groups,and priests, as well as other religious representatives.
In each one, a coordinator completes the tasks of motivation, support and management.gcsinmobiliaria.com/wp-content/olathe/1873-talayuelas-quiero.php
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Daily practice has allowed the appropriation and development of even better conceptual and methodological tools, which have begun to be used by other institutions that work towards peace from other perspectives. In association with REDEPAZ—the largest Colombian network of initiatives for peace—on one hand, and with the Colombian Catholic Episcopal Conference, on the other, this service soon will be offered e in other Colombian cities, especially those with the highest rates of violence. For centuries, the strategies of peacemaking and citizen security have strongly emphasiszed rationality and law enforcement.
ESPERE Schools want to offer a different paradigm by designing communal work techniques that are sustained through the strengthening of the emotional intelligence. Without overlooking current theoretical discussions about the root causes of Colombia's increased criminality the inefficiency of justice as a product of generalized anarchy, dramatic poverty in the majority of Colombian citizens, the pernicious influence of drug trafficking, a rise in organized crime, and matters of attitude, among others , the ESPERE Schools have chosen to concentrate on three sets of individual and collective dynamics in the work towards forgiveness and reconciliation: the problem of emotional control, the lack of institutional mediators in the community and the lack of knowledge of conflict resolution techniques.
Instead, negative institutional mediators are being strengthened subversive groups, juvenile delinquency, organized street crime. Therefore, the social capital for peace is converted into the social capital for violence. In this sense, the ESPERE Schools are gradually creating positive social capital that works both as an institutional mediation for the prevention of violent behavior and as also much as the assertive negotiation of various conflicts. Against the irrationality of violence it is necessary to propose the irrationality of forgiveness,as well as demonstrate that cities are built from inside out, that forgiveness is not forgetting but rather remembering with different eyes, that without reconciliation there is no future, that hatred and resentment have grave somatic and psychological effects, that truth and justice are indispensable elements of reconciliation, and, finally, that compassion and tenderness must be reinstated as basic elements of the culture of peace.
Quite possibly, some day I will run into Tirofijo again and this time I will be the one to say with great respect: "Get down from the clouds, Don Manuel: without forgiveness and without reconciliation there is no future. Not for you, and not for anyone!!! He received his M. He has participated very closely in the peace negotiations with the leftist guerrillas in Colombia.
Hoy en el mundo, diversos especialistas estudian el tema en diferentes universidades. Por un lado, expresiones llenas de odio y de rencor hacia el gobierno oficial. Castigar no es otra forma de cometer injusticias? Me inquietaba que las ciencias sociales poco o nada se hubiesen preocupado por un tema tan cotidiano y complejo.
Get PDF Enfoque en la Reproducción, Moduló 12 (El Curriculo Piedra Angular) (Spanish Edition)
No se trata para nada de anestesiar la conciencia social, sino de encontrar formas constructivas para lograr la justicia y la paz. Miles de colombianos que han sufrido la crueldad de la violencia, guardan, rabias , odios, rencores y deseos de venganza. Ellos son el alma y nervio de esta iniciativa.
Esos 10 pasos son:. El capital social de la paz se convierte entonces, en capital social de la violencia. Ni para Usted, ni para nadie!!!