Migration is a prevailing movement of our time; although, throughout history, people have always crossed borders, temporarily or permanently, for many reasons. In the following excerpt, adapted from the book Aguchita: Mercy and Justice, we read how migration – then as now – was rooted within a broader social, political, economic, and theological context and how Aguchita was informed of this context as she carried out her ministry.
In Peru, there was a military coup d'état in 1962. Migration from the highlands to the coast had led to significant changes in Peruvian society, particularly in Lima. Meanwhile, in the Peruvian jungle, subversive movements were emerging. At the same time, in 1968, initial reflections on liberation theology, developed in Medellín, were becoming known.
In this context, Aguchita continued to nurture her daily life of service, deeply aware of the changes taking place in the lives of those with whom she was in constant contact through her work. All those in religious life were acutely aware of the social, political, and economic upheavals taking place, thanks to the awareness they had developed through their faith. This awareness led them to pay more attention to society's lost and marginalized. The message they wanted to convey through their ministry was that life was a divine right, that God loves the poor, and that justice and solidarity were the way to liberation.
The Congregational Position Paper on Migration states that it is critical to constantly strengthen knowledge and analysis of migration, knowing the laws and agreements that support various categories of persons on the move. Aguchita paid attention to current affairs as she too experienced the effects of the changes that were taking place on a local, national, and international level. How can her example encourage you to become more aware of the root causes of migration and challenge the policies that dehumanize migrants and imprison them in unjust situations?