Recent violence in Mexico has taken the lives of thousands of people—mostly young men and women. Many mothers fear retaliation if they come forward. In Acapulco—one of the cities hit the hardest by the violence—the Church is the only place where the moms feel safe in sharing their grief.
The Catholic Church is leading social transformation initiatives to eradicate violence in Mexico. Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is working directly with Caritas Mexico to develop peacebuilding initiatives to prevent and address violence. These projects—listening centers established in parishes with high rates of violence— provide spiritual, psychosocial, and legal advice to women and families whose lives have been torn apart by the loss of a son or daughter.
Acapulco has more than a dozen listening centers. Mothers who have lost children to violence are invited to the centers by catechists who accompany them through the mourning process. The centers are staffed by social workers and psychologists who have completed a certification program in peacebuilding, sponsored by CRS at the University Loyola del Pacifico.