• Fermin Rodrigo


Biography

Fermín Isaac Rodrigo Làzaro is a man who lives in Olesa de Montserrat and is the youngest child of 12. Nowadays he lives in Catalonia, but he is from a small town in Soria. He has been to Columbia, Guatemala and Mexico. Fermin has been very interested in non-governmental organisations for 41 years. First of all, he started being involved with causes within Spain, fighting against the dictatorship of Franco and in 1991, he began to work with International Brigades to get to know the situation in other countries outside of Spain. Fermin hasn’t been to many different countries, preferring to go to countries where they speak Spanish.

“Peace Brigades International of Catalonia” is an organisation which supports Peace Brigades International (PBI). It was founded by people from the world of solidarity and social movements in the middle of the 1980s. PBI is a non-governmental organisation founded in Canada in 1981. It is recognised by the United Nations and has its head office in London.
Its goal, by being involved in the international arena, is to protect people who defend human rights, even if they have suffered repression. Their aim is that people who work for peace in non-violent ways can continue to campaign without fear of threats or repression.

PBI always accede to local demands. Their teams are always on the ground, where they accompany threatened people and organisations, make regular visits to conflict zones and participate in talks and demonstrations with the civil and military authorities, as well as with state organisations, NGOs, churches and international organisations to ensure international coverage.

Aims and Objectives

  • Share the work of the teams on the ground and promote human rights in these countries
  • To work with the Catalan people on issues of nonviolence, justice and peace
  • Build up political support
  • Find ways of fundraising
  • Find volunteers


Activities

  • Presentations about PBI and PBI of Catalonia
  • Distribution of information about the various projects of PBI
  • Preparation and distribution of material in Catalan
  • Preparation of educational material about peace and human rights
  • Open Days
  • Training for people joining the ground teams
  • Activities to increase political support for PBI
  • Activities to raise funds for the projects of the PBI of Catalonia


Visit by Fermin Rodrigo

Fermín Isaac Rodrigo Làzaro came to our school last February and explained to children in Class 5 and 6 about PBI (Peace Brigades International) and especially his work with them. Then he told us a story about conflict and intervention.

Fermin’s Story


Tonito was happy living amongst the nature of his country.


Sitting on a rock, he gazed at the wondrous beauty of the river.


Even the animals rejoiced in the richness of nature.


Some rich people came along. They wanted to make everyone happy.


But it was all a lie: More and more people came along, trying to take everything away.


So all the families went sadly back to their homes, frightened and worried ...


… because they saw their trees being cut down and their river becoming sad.


So sad that the river turned black: Like the oil that had been stolen.
So sad that the river turned red: Like the blood of the people.


Everything was weapons and fighting. Everything had changed.


After the story, Fermín talked to us about the need for peace and gave us a question to consider:
What Can We Do To Promote Peace?

  • Find out what is going on in the world
  • Ask lots of questions
  • Remember the thoughts and feelings of older people
  • Do not be indifferent to the issues
  • Do everything you can to achieve justice


After Fermín’s visit, it became clear that we all have a lot of work still to do.



FERMIN RODRIGO
BRIGADAS INTERNACIONALS PER LA PAU


ENTREVISTA
Barcelona març 2011

DESPRÉS D’HAVER ESCOLTAT LES SEVES EXPLICACIONS, ENS AGRADARIA FER-LI UNES PREGUNTES:

A- De quina manera i quan va començar el seu treball dins de l’ONG?
F- Vaig començar de molt gran als 41 anys, primer havia començat amb causes aquí al nostre país, estàvem amb la Dictadura de Franco. L’any 91 vaig començar amb Brigades Internacionals per conèixer altres coses fora del nostre país.

A- Dins de Brigades hi ha molts voluntaris?
F- No, no hi ha tanta gent, però sí molt ben organitzada. Per exemple a Colòmbia tenim 35 persones voluntàries, a Guatemala són 12 persones. Però encara que són poques aconsegueixen fer moltes coses...

A- Ha estat en molts països diferents?
F- No, fora d’Espanya amb Brigades Internacionals només he estat a tres. A Mèxic, Guatemala i a Colòmbia.

A- La teva organització té reconeixement a nivell mundial?
F- Si, estem a 18 països d’Europa, als EEUU, al Canada, Austràlia i en altres països tenim grups de simpatitzants com a la Índia.

A- Deus conèixer forces llengües, no?
F- Doncs no, ja m’agradaria però no és el cas. Com sempre he viatjat a països de llengua espanyola doncs he pogut entendrem amb la gent. Però és molt important que vosaltres estudieu perquè és molt interessant conèixer llengües.

A- Amb quants anys pots començar a treballar dins l’ONG?
F- Dels 25 anys en endavant, però com per fer acompanyament t’has de formar al llarg d’un any, hem tingut gent que ha començat a preparar-se amb 23, 24 anys.

A- Pots escollir on vols col•laborar o no?
F- Si, la persona quan s’apropa a la nostra ONG demana i exposa els seus interessos d’actuació i no hi ha cap problema. Per desgràcia al món hi ha 190 països dels quals en la actualitat tenim 45 en conflictes armats. O sigui que tenim molts llocs on intervenir.

A- Hauràs conegut a gent molt interessant no?
F- He conegut molta gent, però per mi tothom és igual d’interessant, totes les persones tenen la mateixa importància, però no el mateix poder. Persones amb poder he conegut forces: Presidents de govern, diplomàtics... Però per mi té més importància l’avi de la comunitat que us he parlat abans.

A- Has patit alguna vegada per la teva vida?
F- Alguna vegada m’ha espantat i hem estat en alguna situació complicada... però nosaltres intentem dissuadir però si no ho aconseguim no tenim res a fer. I sempre des de la legalitat. La solució dels conflictes sempre ha de venir de la gent local i nosaltres no podem donar més problemes.

A- Com decideixen on han de fer una intervenció?
F- Nosaltres sempre anem apetició de gent d’altres països, es fa un estudi previ a la intervenció, es veu si és factible i s’escull qui anirà etc.

Moltes gràcies per venir a la nostra escola i explicar-nos totes aquestes coses tan interessants.