“Strengthening the efforts of all those who struggle for health, justice, peace and respect for human rights.” Medicine of Liberation
San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas. August 2, 2014 "Health, disease and suffering have no borders", they said on the second day of the International Gathering (Encuentro) of the Medicine of Liberation: Together in Solidarity, organized by Doctors for Global Health (DGH) and the San Carlos Hospital in Altamirano, which is being held at the University of Earth – CIDECI.
Doctors, psychologists, activists, indigenous and peasant organizations and journalists and human rights activists have gathered in San Cristobal de las Casas to reflect on the theme of the medicine of liberation.
In the words of Linnea Capps, President of DGH, the meeting is "An exchange of ideas between people from different countries, different languages and different cultures, to learn from each other and thus strengthen the efforts of all those who fight for health justice, peace and respect for human rights."
Doctor Capps explains that DGH is a nongovernmental, non-profit organization, formed by hundreds of health care and education who promote domestic and international policies for peace. "The vast majority of funds are donations from individuals not governments, so the resources go directly to the communities," he says.
Linnea Capps recalled that DGH began in el Salvador shortly after the peace agreements following the civil war in that country, when the founder of DGH, Lanny Smith, was invited to coordinate a community health programme and training of health promoters.
In Mexico, DGH has done work on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Oaxaca, in the areas of acupuncture, agro-ecology and nutrition. In Chiapas, it was in 1996 where they had their first encounter with the autonomous health, and in 1997 they began to collaborate with the Hospital San Carlos in Altamirano, accompanying autonomous communities in their struggle.
Meanwhile, the psychologist Cecilia Santiago during her participation in the meeting says that "all science, all scientific thought and every cultural event, when it is real and genuine, must be a liberating contribution to all mankind." And she adds that "liberation in any science, and any scientific or technical application, must be a constitutive and structuring attribute, without which it is not possible to understand its role in service to humanity."
For the researcher Abraham Ribera Borrego, formerly of CIEPAC, participant in the table, "Twenty Years after NAFTA," the health system "is increasingly inefficient, discriminatory and counterproductive. Doctors, hospitals, the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, produce more disease than they cure." "The production and distribution and consumption of health is the second most important sector in the global economy. That is to say the health and healing of all the people who inhabit this planet," he adds.
Ribero Borrego points out that it is very important that "in the exercise of the autonomy of our bodies, not disciplined to the logic of control, the dominant notions of disease, health, at a time when healing practices are being re-appropriated, as at the Hospital of San Carlos, in the municipality of Altamirano, and in the Zapatista communities, where the proposal is for life, the main feature of this rebellion for autonomy and the collective healing of bodies."
Translated and posted by Dorset Chiapas Solidarity 03/08/2014