Monthly Archives: June 2017

Mexico. The break-up of the drug cartels.

The formation of micro-cartels is superimposing itself on the traditional large drug cartels. The petrol trade, a new business for the drug cartels. In recent years, the creation of micro-cartels is superimposing itself on the large drug cartels. This has happened due to pressure from law enforcement but even more because of the break-up and…

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Colombia. To draft a new life for the country.

The post-conflict, reconciliation and forgiveness, to overcome  the feeling of hatred and vengeance, in order to plan for a different future. We talked with  Msgr. Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga, president of the Colombian Conference of Bishops. It took four years of negotiations in Havana between representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and…

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Combretum Collinum. Highly Valued Medicinal Plant.

The plant plays a fundamental role in treatment and management of numerous kinds of diseases. The preparation of the herbal remedy from Combretum collinum can be in the form of infusions, or as a decoction. Combretum collinum (Fresen); commonly referred to as bush willows belongs to the plant family combretaceae. It is a small to…

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Brazil. Bumba Meu Boi. A Passionate and Rhythmic Folkloric Festival.

A very comic-dramatic dance and festival, particularly in Northern Brazil, Bumba-Meu-Boi tells the story of the death and resurrection of an ox. Beginning as a simple street festival, over time the festival has incorporated local legends, music and dances wherever it is performed. In this month of June, with different names, it is celebrated throughout …

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Kenya. Prisoners are people too.

The Langata female prison is the largest female prison in Kenya. It hosts more than 800 inmates in all categories of offenders. “An inmate is already condemned, by the majority of society and often by their own family members”. Lillian Wambui Waweru, the Kenya prisons’ Catholic chaplaincy coordinator for the Nairobi region, shares her experience…

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Commemorating, a means of advocacy.

The Guaraní people of Bolivia resisted 400 years, with their culture and with their arms, the Spanish colonization first and the domination of the Bolivian State later. In 1892, the national army put an end to this, for the people in power, anomalous situation: with guns and rifles, it faced the Guarani people armed with…

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Panama. The Dance of the Macaws.

Every June, La Villa de los Santos celebrates the traditional Feast of Corpus Christi, mixing religion with popular festivities. Dances, theatrical performances, and parading parrampanes and mojigangas take over the town for several days. One of the important dances performed  during the feat is the ‘Dirty Little Devils’. La Villa is a town in the…

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East Timor. Stability is a long way.

There were eight candidates but just one outsider who figured in the election campaign for the referendum on19 March 2017 to have a new president (the sixth) in the small republic of East Timor, the second Catholic stronghold in Asia after the Philippines. Suspended between Asia and Oceania and, even more so by its uncertain…

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The church with the people.

A colonial inheritance and a strong identifying factor, the Catholic religion has perhaps been the true cohesive factor in the history of the Timorese and its role as well as its prestige were evidenced in the darkest times of modern history when the Church was tolerated by the Indonesian power but many of its exponents…

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Crocodile Island.

Once upon a time in Makassar, there lived a very old crocodile, so old that it could not manage anymore to catch fish in the river. One day it was hoping to catch a stray pig on the riverbank. The crocodile hunted the whole day under the heat of the sun, but it did not…

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Egypt’s two difficult and Self-Perpetuating Challenges.

Terrorist attacks, tension between al- Sisi’s regime and the Coptic minority, the emergence of new militant groups, economic and financial problems. At least 28 people including many children were killed on May 26 in Egypt. It was yet another attack targeting Coptic Christians. The government responded by hitting jihadist camps in neighboring Libya. The attackers…

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A variety of languages and cultures.

At 500 Km from the coast of northern Australia, East Timor, though limited in extent, has a broad variety of languages and cultures. This is a diversity that not even the long period of Portuguese dominion (1702–1974 regarding its government, preceded by an active presence since 1515) could affect. Even though the rival British and…

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Money as a mission.

St. Basil the Great, in the 4th century would call money ‘the devil’s dung,’  an epithet reused by Pope Francis last year. Oscar Wilde said…

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The Hare, the Hippo and the Fire.

The hare and the hippo were great friends. They walked together in the veld and visited each other in their homes. The hippo was very proud…

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Youth & Mission

The Virus of Racism.

The world is seeing once again the upsurge of a vicious “virus” that has spread to every corner of the world. This time, the “virus” is…

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