By Diana Paz Garcia
On Friday, we started our session with a “healing circle”. It is a practice inspired by Native American traditions and it is commonly used in restorative justice processes. During this activity, we were asked to reflect and share our personal experiences with crimes against humanity, war crimes, and gross human rights violations.
This question took me by surprise, although I constantly study the violations of the Statute of Rome, I had never reflected on their presence in my life. I tried to formulate a coherent answer in the few seconds that we had, but when it was my turn to speak, my voice cracked and I was unable to formulate any word. In those 10 seconds, the reality of my country, the thirteen years of conflict, the over 300 000 deaths, the 84 daily homicides, the blood, the terror, the funerals and every single traumatic experience that I had ever had as a consequence of the “war against drugs” slapped me in the face.
Immediately, my eyes drowned in tears and my stomach turned. A small piece of my soul crumbled and for the rest of the day, I felt empty. However, little by little, the fear and sadness were replaced with determination and passion. Although I would have preferred to have it another way, this activity helped me regain ground with the core principles that have pushed me to want to become a peacebuilder. It is the same experiences that break me that fuel my conviction to work on conflict resolution.
It is because my homeland hurts in my entrails and I aspire to calm its ailments that I plan to dedicate my life for the improvement of the Mexican reality. Everything I do, my studies, my research, and even this program I do them for my country. I cannot afford to do nothing; I do not have that privilege. My commitment to my country and hunger is enrooted in my soul. I plan to fight for my México lindo y querido until my death because I love my nation with “fury, passion and dismay” (Carlos Fuentes).