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Thursday, 20 September 2018

Cauce Ciudadano, ICIP Peace in Progress Award 2018

The award recognizes the Mexican organization’s work in the prevention of violence and the creation of opportunities for youth in violent settings

Cauce Ciudadano

Coinciding with the International Day of Peace, celebrated on 21 September, the International Catalan Institute for Peace announced the winner of the eighth edition of the ICIP Peace in Progress Award.  After evaluating the different nominees, the ICIP Governing Board decided to grant the ICIP Peace in Progress Award 2018 to the Mexican organization Cauce Ciudadano “for its work in the prevention of violence and the construction of peaceful alternatives for youth in settings characterized by crime, especially drug trafficking.”

Cauce Ciudadano is an organization founded in 2000 by young former gang members, with the goal of offering comprehensive support and opportunities to other teens that experience and/or generate violence in settings characterized by social exclusion and a strong presence of drug trafficking and criminal groups. The organization focuses on socio-educational and socio-community work in schools, public spaces, juvenile detention facilities and penitentiaries, with the aim of training young people as agents of social change. Since its inception, the organization has assisted 230,000 people and, in a country like Mexico, characterized by the war on drugs, Cauce Ciudadano has designed a model for the prevention of violence from a human rights perspective, with an emphasis on health promotion, attention to the damage caused and rehabilitation.

One of its leading projects is “Red Retoño,” which brings together relatives of victims of enforced disappearances and civil society groups and organizations to carry out actions aimed at developing a comprehensive strategy for peacebuilding.  Since 2015, these actions have allowed, for example, 85 relatives of victims of enforced disappearances to enjoy legal support to follow up on their cases. As part of this project, socio-community interventions aimed at a thousand children and young people affected by organized crime have been conducted.

Previously granted

The first edition of the award in 2011 recognized the struggle of conscientious objectors and "insubmisos" (people who refuse to do military service or any substitute social work) represented by Pepe Beúnza, the first conscientious objector to compulsory military service for ideological reasons in Spain. The same year, in an extraordinary edition of the award, the Parliament of Catalonia was honored for representing the continuity and legacy of the institutions "Pau i Treva" and "Consolat de Mar."

Then, in 2012, the ICIP Award was granted to five Madres de Soacha (Mothers of Soacha) for their work in favor of peace and human rights in Colombia. The next year the award was granted to the ex-general born in Belgrade, Jovan Divjak, for his courage in the defense of Sarajevo during the Balkans War and his work in favor of the victims of that conflict.

In 2014, honored the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) for its century-long involvement in the work of women for peace, while in 2015 was granted to the Capuchin friar Joan Botam, promoter of numerous initiatives linked to peace and ecumenism.

In 2016, the ICIP Peace in Progress Award recognized the work carried out by Peace Brigades International in the support and accompaniment of human rights defenders.

In the last edition of the award, in 2017, the ICIP recognized the activist Arcadi Oliveres, for his commitment and tireless dedication to the promotion of peace, social justice and human rights.