Sacrificing life and liberty

While migration enriches the social, cultural, and economic fabric of our world, it can be a difficult journey for anyone. In the following excerpt, adapted from the book Aguchita: Mercy and Justice, we read how for those facing conditions of poverty, food insecurity, degraded environment, natural disasters, armed conflict, inhumane labor conditions, rights violations, or grossly ineffective government, migration is a means to attain freedom and survival, to establish better social and economic opportunities.

From 1960 onwards, oil exploration caused demands for land concessions and created conflicts over the land. In some cases, settlers came together to form cooperatives; and in others, they sought the land to be privatized for commercial purposes. However, the existing estates sought more workers, who were brought in from various places "like herded sheep." They came under the false promise of obtaining land and securing a better future, which was not always the case. This situation exacerbated the sense of injustice and served as a breeding ground for the discontent that violent groups later used to justify their actions.


The Congregational Position Paper on migration stresses that all people, regardless of migratory status, are rights holders whose protection is a moral imperative, and that the rights of migrant spouses and children merit prominent consideration. Aguchita volunteered to go and serve among such women and children in La Florida – a new migrant settlement. In the process of supporting these communities to attain freedom and survival, she sacrificed her own life and liberty by her violent death at the hands of a terrorist group. Although the armed conflict had worried her, she remained calm because the important thing was to be with her flock. What are you willing to sacrifice to enable those seeking better opportunities to achieve their goals? Like Aguchita, are you willing to risk everything for the mission?