Fifty years of commitment to social justice in Latin America
Since the 60s, young people have protested massively against a society which had made possible the horror of the Second World War, their human sensitivity unable to bear the injustice. In many countries they demanded democracy and justice, and so began the repression of the military dictatorships in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and Uruguay.
The general situation touched the conscience of many followers of Jesus. The Second Vatican Council, the meeting of the CELAM in Medellín, and the 32nd General Congregation provoked a change of mentality and an opening of hearts. The salvation of Jesus was not after death, but after birth. It was insisted that all of our efforts should converge towards the construction of a society in which the people were integrated with all of their rights to equality and freedom.
In 1968 Father Arrupe and the provincials of Latin America put us on alert: “The epoch we are experiencing in L.A. is a moment in the history of salvation. Therefore, we propose to give absolute priority to this problem in our apostolic strategy” (Carta de Río, May 1968, n. 3).
All of this generated a very active social sector. Many Jesuits from the Provinces of the region worked with the poor, living with and like them.
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