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A Citizen Fast and Reflection

Stop the War…No More Blood! A Journey to Justice

By Julie Slowik, IHM

We are deeply grateful to you our IHM Sisters, Associates and friends who joined in fast and prayer for justice and peace in Juarez. Your presence in spirit along with so many others was deeply felt. We received 1,800 letters of solidarity from around the world.

Overcoming fear, some fifty groups and organizations among whom were national and international representatives gathered in downtown Juarez on January 29 and 30, 2011. During the event at the Monument some of the group journeyed in caravans to the U.S./Mexico fenced border, joining with a large group from El Paso, Texas. Though divided physically, all were united in one voice in the demand for justice. In a beautiful gesture, hands from both sides linked together through the fence in solidarity.

Late Saturday afternoon groups journeyed to the site of last year’s youth massacre, where families and friends had placed pictures of their beloved children on posters. There the Bishop of Juarez celebrated the liturgy. Saturday night at the Monument in a moving ceremony we, with lighted luminaries, formed the word “justicia” along the monument steps. The night was filled with cultural expressions of song, poetry readings, theater, and music. On Sunday morning, small groups listened and gave comfort to mothers who begged for justice for the disappearance or death by violence of their sons and daughters. An ecumenical service closed the fast.

We left interiorly strengthened with a deep sense of harmony among the many organizations who coordinated the week-end. A political statement had been declared by our united presence. We go forth with courage to continue the struggle.