Chiapas: Pilgrimage of the Believing People to observe the fourth anniversary of the death of Don Samuel Ruíz.
On Saturday 24 January, the Believing People of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese held a pilgrimage through the streets of this city to commemorate the struggle and path of Don Samuel Ruíz García, the former bishop of Chiapas, who died four years ago. Close to 10,000 believers, including Ch’ol, Tseltal, Tsotsil, Tojolobal, and mestizo men and women, participated in the pilgrimage which left from two points in the city toward Peace Plaza, where a mass was celebrated in honour of “jTatic Samuel.” The banners that were carried during the event demonstrated the concern the pilgrims have for Mother Earth and the struggles they are undertaking to defend it, employing texts such as “no to mining,” “no to the highway,” and “our Mother Earth, the life-root of our people, we will defend.”
The pilgrims also expressed their solidarity with the struggle for justice carried out by the families of the 43 disappeared students from Ayotzinapa, as their banners also showed.
Several activities to observe the fourth anniversary of the death of Samuel Ruiz García, bishop emeritus of San Cristóbal de las Casas
Beyond the pilgrimage and mass that were held on 24 January, several other activities were organized in observance of the fourth anniversary of the death of the bishop emeritus of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Samuel Ruiz García.
On 27 January, the jTatik Samuel Museum was inaugurated in the El Caminante Communal Center of San Cristóbal de Las Casas (km 1.5 on the road toward Chamulá, passing Esquipulas). The new space contains five rooms that show the life and work of bishop Samuel Ruiz García, as well as the history and religions of Chiapas, from before the Spanish conquest, Evangelization, and the most recent history after the EZLN’s armed uprising.
Maldonado Quiroga, a member of the administration of El Caminante, detailed that the museum was created after seven years of data gathering by 11 individuals who comprised the council for the space. All 11 spent time next to Don Samuel during some point of his life.
On 26 January in Mexico City, there was held an event entitled “Sparkles in the darkness: the teachings of jTatic Samuel Ruiz four years after his passing,” in which several persons who were close to Don Samuel participated.
Raúl Vera, the bishop of Saltillo, recalled for example that “he changed my life, because I entered the indigenous world through the heart of Don Samuel. I never stopped seeing the future that God was building, and I saw that the evidence that we could create a new world was that we were attempting to so at that very moment.”
Call for the 2015 jTatik Samuel Jcanan Lum Award
On 23 January, the 2015 public call to propose candidates for the “jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum Award” was launched. The announcement was made by Monseigneur José Raúl Vera López, bishop of Saltillo and the honorary president of the organizing committee.
The call recalls that the award has the goal of “making known and inspiring the work of women and men, organizations, and collectives that have distinguished themselves by their contribution to the people in the creation of communal and/or regional alternatives, as well as by their work directed at unity and peaceful social transformation […]. We want to recognize their love for the people, their resistance, their service, their search for alternatives amidst the suffering and marginalization of their communities, amidst the destruction of the Earth, the defence of human rights, the defence of the dignity of all, and their struggle for peace, justice, and liberation.”
“jTatic Samuel jCanan Lum” is a charge that the Mons. Samuel Ruíz García received in the community of Amatenango del Valle by Ch’ol, Tojolabal, Tseltal, Tsotsil, and Zoque peoples on 14 October 2009. There, he was recognized as the protector of their people, who love and defend him for being someone who cares for life, nature, and the Earth. With reference to the same, the jTatic Samuel Jcanan Lum Award seeks to support individuals or groups and stimulate them by giving voice to their social work.
The proposals must be made in writing, physically, or electronically before 31 October 2015 to the following address: Calle Brasil No. 14, Barrio de Mexicanos, CP 29240, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, México. Tel. and fax: 967 6787395, 967 6787396 E-mail: email@example.com
The awarding of the next wave of Recognitions will take place in January 2016 in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, in observance of the Episcopal Anniversary of jTatic Samuel Ruiz García.