Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Remember Maguindanao

It's a year to the day since 57 people were massacred and dumped in a pit in Maguindanao, Southern Philippines, where I go quite frequently because of my work for a peacebuilding NGO called International Alert. The BBC has produced quite a thoughtful piece on it which you can watch here.

And some of the colleagues of the murdered journalists have produced this quite moving collage here:

Absolutely nothing to do with Shepherd's Bush, but hey this is my blog and I thought I'd do my little bit to flag it up. The two armed conflicts that ravage the southern Philippines (communist and extreme Islamist inspired) have been going for decades and result in the sort of lawlessness that permits these sort of acts to happen. According to the International Federation of Journalists the country is now the most dangerous in the world to be a journalist in (30 of the 57 were reporters).

The group were accompanying an opposition candidate who was registering for elections which at that time were being held.

During my last visit there I was training some fellow peace advocates, one of whom told me how she'd witnessed her parents abduction and death, and that she'd spent her life since then trying to work for peace, but also trying to find where they'd been buried. Puts all of our challenges into perspective methinks.

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