CAP celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2008.
In 1983, when the Peace Center was founded Central America was in the “hard times” of military coups, wars and other extraordinary incursions on human rights all over the region. The Quaker Meeting and human rights activists were protesting the grave human rights violations occurring in neighboring Central American countries. The International League of Women for Peace and Justice, Amnesty International, the Costa Rican-Nicaraguan Friendship Association, the Christian Movement for Peace, International Peace Brigades and the University for Peace were close allies to our cause.
In November, President Monge declared Costa Rica’s permanent neutrality and reasserted Costa Rica’s rejection of militarization. In December, the incorporating papers were signed for the Peace Center.
The Peace Center helped plan and then participated in the March for Peace and Neutrality in Costa Rica.
We began Conflict Resolution programs and participated in the International March for Peace in Central America. CAP members collaborated in the process that became the Central American Peace Plan supported by President Arias.
We received a donation of a building in which we run the hostel, Casa Ridgway which provides the basic funds for CAP’s operating expenses.
A CAP member trained 80 teachers from Lebanon in conflict resolution techniques at a UN Peace Conference in Paris.
CAP saw a series of training in non-violent conflict resolution supported by the Alternatives to Violence in which personnel from the Ministereo de Justicia (Ministry of Justice) and the Patronato Nacional de la Infancia (The Infants Welfare Agency) participated along with members of other organizations and CAP’s own members.
Participants in the training courses then put their skills to work at the Centro Penitenciario Buen Pastor (Good Shepherd Penitentiary).
CAP, using a legal procedure called a recurso de amparo in the Sala Constitucional, forced the government to reveal the details of a weapons deal by the Ministry of Security which had been declared a state secret.
Since 1996, CAP has been the designated NGO that works with the Ministry of Culture to plan and carryout the annual celebration of the Abolition of the Army on Dec 1.
Concordia Publications was funded to produce two leaflets, the first on the Abolition of the Army in 1948 which was published in English and in Spanish; and a Manual on the Use of the Recurso de Amparo and the Human Rights of Women.
We worked with Cultural Movement of Artists to encourage Costa Ricans to read and to become familiar with the details of the CAFTA treaty.
CAP hosted Father Roy Bourgeois and Lisa Sullivan and arranged for them to meet with President Arias in an effort to stop the sending of police to be trained at Fort Benning, Georgia.
We held a series of workshops on human rights (with the aid of the Canadian Government) in various locations in the country. This work became the foundation of the Red Activa de los Derechos Humanos.
In March of we held the first conference on depleted uranium in Latin America. The conference brought together diplomats from Central American Countries, scientists from Europe, Japan and the United States. We translated documents into Spanish. We had excellent media coverage. Our efforts resulted in proposed laws in the legislature (a ban on the production containing depleted uranium in the free trade zones and a proposal for similar legislation in the Latin American Parliament.
In July of 2009 the CAP coordinator was in Honduras as an official observer of the election and present during the Coup. Soon after her return a team was formed to go to Honduras and investigate complaints of violations of human rights. A group including lawyers and health practitioners and Quakers participated in Mision Morazan.
2010 Coming Soon!
we are working to publicize Costa Rica’s sending its police force to be trained at Fort Benning, GA and we work with SOA Watch in trying to get the School closed;
& maintaining pressure on the Asamblea Legislativa to pass its law that will ban depleted uranium in Costa Rica;
& supporting the Red of Human Rights in its efforts to educate and inform victims of government expropriation of their rights and how to file recursos de amparo;
& publicizing the plight of Palestinians — Read more about CAP´s history of work in the Middle East:
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