“The kingdom of God is justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17)
SUCUMBÍOS, Ecuador – We, the Montfortian teams: missionary team in Seville and itinerant missionary team present in Sucumbíos, province of the Amazon region of Ecuador, seek to live the spirituality of Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation, from the fundamental principle that as missionaries, we are called to bring the Good News to all the people, especially the most vulnerable, and to all creation.
From this commitment to life, we accompany and sympathize with the social and environmental struggles which, as Pope Francis says, are not two crises but one, the socio-environmental crisis.
Thus, we have participated in the dissemination and coordination of the lawsuit against the State: Ministries of Energy, Ministry of Environment, and other government offices and oil companies, for the damage caused by the oil spill that occurred on April 7, 2020. This spill has affected hundreds of people, mostly indigenous people from the provinces of Sucumbíos and Orellana.
Indigenous and human rights organizations, as well as the Church, filed a demand for Protection Action. On September 1, the shameful sentence was issued where the judge denies the protection action, ignoring the evidence presented by those affected. Against this, it has been decided to appeal.
On the other hand, they have sought to get food to the neediest families of the peasant communities settled on the banks of the Putumayo river. That was not easy, since as missionaries, we do not have our own mobility, and the communities are located about five hours away. Fortunately, the bishop lent his truck, and with the help of the Women's Federation, which had a meeting planned in the area, where women from the riverside communities arrived, the delivery was made possible.
Also, within this search for justice, it is collaborating with the Commission for the Clarification of Truth, Coexistence, and Non-repetition of Colombia (CEV). This Truth Commission is the first in history that is taking interviews with Colombian people in exile. Sucumbíos is the border with Colombia, and has welcomed many Colombians who arrived fleeing the internal conflict. From this reality, it is supported by collecting testimonies.
Maritza Flores Milla
Itinerant Visitation Team (EIV)