Tacna, Peru, April 18, 2019 – The Pastoral of Human Mobility of the Diocese of Tacna and Moquegua and the Welcoming Center “Santa Rosa de Lima”, led by Fr. Fernando Acosta, cs, organized the Migration Awareness Symposium for Authorities of the Tacna Region on April 17. This activity had the support of the Pastoral of Human Mobility of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, and it took place in the ambit of the Bishopric Curia.
The opening and welcoming of the authorities were in charge of Monsignor Marco Antonio Cortez Lara, Bishop of Tacna and Moquegua, who highlighted the work of the Scalabrinian missionaries, who for several years have been encouraging this pastoral work in this border area. He also recognized the importance of the call to the reception that Pope Francis asks of us, a fact that is materialized in the Welcoming Center “Santa Rosa de Lima” in Tacna.
The first presentation « Response of the Church to the reality of migration in Lima » was given by Fr. Luiz Do Arte, CS, Director of the Welcoming Center “Beato Scalabrini” in Lima, who shared the message of the Holy Father Francis in the four verbs proposed for the pastoral action of the Church with migrants: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate. Likewise, he explained the work experience of the Scalabrini shelter in Lima, inaugurated in mid-2018, and of the various actions carried out in the shelter such as lodging, food, legal orientation, accompaniment.
The second presentation « Assistance of the Church to the Migrants in Tacna and Moquegua and the Promotion of the Global Covenants », was presented by Fr. Fernando Acosta Medina, person in charge for the Pastoral of the Migrant of the Diocese of Tacna and Moquegua and Director of the « Santa Rosa de Lima » Welcoming Center. He shared the work that, for almost three years, has been carried out in the Diocese, as well as the characteristics of migration in the border area.
Finally, the third presentation: « Trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling » was led by Sister Blanca Lamarre of the Kawsay Network against trafficking in persons from the Dioceses of Tacna and Moquegua. She shared the reality of the crime of human trafficking at a national and local level, as well as the actions that the Kawsay Network has been executing on this issue.
After the interventions and questions of the attendees, the closing words of the event were offered by Fr. Nivaldo Feliciano Da Silva, CS, Executive Secretary of the Pastoral of Human Mobility of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, who thanked Mgr. Marco Antonio, Local Bishop, for the constant support and concern he has had in relation to migrants, likewise, he highlighted the progress of diocesan Pastoral of Human Mobility, as evidenced in the Santa Rosa de Lima shelter, and the awareness and prevention work that they carry out in alliance with other organizations. In front of the local authorities, representatives of the Police, Public Ministry, Ombudsman’s Office and International Organizations such as UNHCR, Fr. Nivaldo highlighted that the collaboration and exchange of information between the various organisms of society is a prophetic sign of hope, communion in the diversity of affirmative-positive response possibilities in migrant and refugee care, he also proposed to strengthen inter-institutional relations as a work mechanism that promotes actions and prioritizes the use of resources in favor of migrants in this part of the border.
This activity is part of the actions of the Puentes de Solidaridad Project in Peru, a project funded by the Migrants and Refugees section of the Vatican Dicastery for the Integral Human Development Service. This initiative proposes to provide reception services to the most vulnerable migrants, helping them with housing and inclusion in work. Expansion of access to education and health and spiritual assistance during the entire period of migrants’ stay abroad is also expected. Each country will adapt these objectives to their realities. Currently, it covers 10 Episcopal Conferences of South America.