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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 02:45 AM
Original message
Bolivia arrests 8 Mennonite men accused of raping more than 60 women at their farm community
Source: Associated Press

Bolivia arrests 8 Mennonite men accused of raping more than 60 women at their farm community
By Associated Press
11:33 PM EDT, June 23, 2009

LA PAZ, Bolivia (AP) Eight men from a Mennonite farming community in eastern Bolivia have been accused of raping dozens of females at the settlement, a prosecutor said Tuesday, indicating at least one victim was an underage girl.

Prosecutor Freddy Perez told The Associated Press that 60 women, from 11 to 47 years old, have accused the men of rape. He said the men were suspected of using a form of aerosol spray to drug the women.

"Members of the community told us that for religious reasons, and because they didn't have electric lighting, they didn't move about late at night, but these youths did and were spotted jumping into the windows of houses," he said.

~snip~
Mennonites belong to a conservative Christian sect that does without most modern conveniences and limits contact with outsiders.



Read more: http://www.courant.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-lt-...
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 02:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. Good for the women for bringing charges. n/t
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 02:48 AM
Response to Original message
2. Awful. Glad they caught 'em
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 05:18 AM
Response to Original message
3. Where were their husbands? Fathers? Sons? Brothers?
Where were the OTHER men?
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 05:28 AM
Response to Original message
4. Not to be mistaken with
a Conservative Christian sect. Most Mennonites I know in the US are Dems. They are anti-war, pro charity, very good people. I really don't see what this story has to do with the accused proclaimed religion.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 06:02 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. This article does not indicate they are likely to be Democrats.
Mennonite attitudes toward political parties and authorities have differed widely among the many groups in the Mennonite mosaic and within the more than 50 countries to which Mennonites have scattered. Mennonite attitudes have reflected both the Anabaptist teaching that governments are ordained by God to maintain order and the teaching that government authority is limited and not to be obeyed when it contradicts the will of God (civil disobedience). Modern warfare and the Mennonite refusal of military service have provided the focus for the shaping of Mennonite attitudes in the modern era of nationalism and militarism.

Mennonites generally have not shown a preference for either liberal or authoritarian systems, but have honored any government which offered them toleration and autonomy. Thus Mennonites gave their deference and appreciation to the tsars of Russia, to the dictator Alfredo Stroessner of Paraguay, but also to the liberal democracies of the United States and Canada and to the "secular state" program of the Congress Party in India. The severe suffering of Mennonites under Russian Communism produced a strong anti-Communist sentiment, especially among emigrs from Russia. In the 1930s some Mennonites in Canada and Paraguay expressed sympathies for the anti-Communist stance of National Socialism in Germany.

Modern democratic theory and practice have changed the context of Mennonite political attitudes and behavior. In the 17th and 19th centuries in Europe, Mennonites had the status of subjects with personal obligations to rulers or princes. In this relationship Mennonites often traded special taxes for toleration. In modern democratic states which claim to derive authority from the people, Mennonites have had the status of citizens who are responsible for the civic order. The earliest Mennonite experience with democratic pluralism was in America. Historian Richard MacMaster has shown (MEA 1), contrary to earlier opinions, that Mennonites in colonial Pennsylvania voted in elections and gave support to the ruling pacifist Quaker party which protected their interests. The American War for independence (1775-83), in which the willingness to bear arms and swear a loyalty oath became tests of citizenship, removed Mennonites from political participation and made them "more than ever a people apart." American Mennonite immigrants of Swiss background maintained a stricter two-kingdom dualism and separation from politics than did the Dutch-Russian immigrants of the 1870s and 1880s in America. Some American Mennonites became active in state and national politics, but they needed to drift away from their Mennonite connections. Old Order Mennonites, Old Order Amish, and other traditionalist groups have attempted a strict separation from political participation.

Mennonites who have an official or unofficial stance of political noninvolvement often do have political preferences. Some theologically conservative Mennonites influenced by dispensationalist teachings have been keenly interested in contemporary events, often relating to the State of Israel, which are said to reveal God's plan for the fulfillment of history. A study of the political socialization of "Old" Mennonite (MC) secondary school students (Leatherman, 1960) War rebellion against the national government (American Civil War), a positive response to generous Republican land policies on the frontier, and the concentration of Mennonite settlements in strongly Republican states.

~snip~
In a sociological study of five Mennonite and Brethren in Christ groups in the United States and Canada in 1972 (Kaufman/Harder, 1975), 76 percent of the respondents said that church members should vote in public elections. Of those who expressed a party preference, three-fourths of the American Mennonites identified with the Republican Party. In Canada the party preferences were more evenly divided: 40 percent Conservative, 32 percent Liberal, 20 percent Social Credit. A historical study of the political acculturation of Kansas Mennonites (Juhnke, 1975) showed that the distinctiveness of Mennonite party preferences changed over time. Until 1940 Kansas Mennonites (mostly General Conference and of Dutch-Russian background) scattered their votes among the political parties in about the same percentages as their non-Mennonite neighbors. There was substantial variation among congregations, however. The Swiss-Volyhnians were less strongly Republican than were the Dutch-Russian Alexanderwohlers. In the 1940 election, when it was clear that President Franklin D. Roosevelt was leading the country into war, the Kansas Mennonites voted in Republican majorities which were distinctively larger than their non-Mennonite neighbors. The Democrat party was identified with war, as it had been in the Civil War and again in World War I. Issues of war and peace affected American Mennonite political attitudes and behavior more than did issues of social welfare, although Mennonites voted in especially large numbers in which "moral issues" such as Prohibition or capital punishment were at stake.
More:
http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/P654.html
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 07:08 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. 1972?
Surely we aren't basing an opinion in 2009 on a 1972 survey...I am basing my opinion on actual observation in 2009 of Dutch Russian, Low German, and Volga German Mennonites whom I am very familiar with. They are pacifists, believe in welfare and health care availability, are accepting of all races and sexual orientations, are very supportive of public education, are charitable, and are accepting of other religious denominations. Most I know are somewhat outspoken Democrats.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. Allow me to lavishly apologize for my reference's distasteful year of publication.
Edited on Wed Jun-24-09 09:04 AM by Judi Lynn
I haven't slept all night and wasn't even close to thinking I wanted to sift through a lot of material to find something which appeared to be sufficiently recent. Since these people don't seem to make radical changes at any point, I assumed what would have held true of their posture in the 1970's probably did now, as well. Had no idea it would actually engender a snappish response.

I'll try a little longer to include more information. This one represents the beliefs of the Conservative Mennonites:
What We Believe
A letter was received at the CMC office in late 1996 with an invitation to respond by way of a questionnaire with a statement of our conference's position in nineteen categories of doctrine, ethics, and church life. The purpose of the questionnaire was to collect information for a handbook on denominations. The book has been published and is identified bibliographically thus: Shelly Steig, Finding the Right Church: A Guide to Denominations' Beliefs (Grand Rapids: Word Publishing, Inc., 1997). Used by permission. (As of January, 1999, the publisher has relocated with a mailing address of PO Box 370, Iowa Falls, Iowa 50126-4370.)

Because of the time line involved, the CMC general secretary responded to the questionnaire immediately, attempting to represent faithfully the Conference position in the various categories. The material was then shared with the CMC Executive Committee in its next meeting at a point when revision could easily have been submitted to the author. The Executive Committee examined the material in its meeting of February, 1997, and endorsed it as suitable for publication with words of encouragement for its further release as an expression of CMC positions.

The book was published in 1997. CMC is included in the book as one of about 150 denominations. In addition, more than 100 groups are listed as having been contacted without response.

The material as prepared for the book is released (with permission of the publisher) in this article. Since it has not been processed in a CMC business meeting, it is not presented as material authorized by CMC. Rather, it is shared as material which the Executive Committee identified as a good representation of CMC position.

- David I. Miller, General Secretary of Conservative Mennonite Conference, 1990-2003

Abortion
Conception is the beginning of life and taking life through abortion is wrong.

Baptism
Baptism is symbolic of the cleansing of the blood of Christ in regeneration and new birth. Both pouring and immersion are acceptable modes.

Birth Control
Love and acceptance of children is taught and encouraged. The prevention of pregnancy when feasible by birth control with pre-fertilization methods is acceptable.

Capital Punishment
The state is ordained of God to maintain law and order and is expected to use the sword for enforcement. Capital punishment should never be advocated by a Christian, but can be recognized as a legitimate function of government. A distinction is maintained between the function of civil government and the function of the church and the Christian, with the Christian refraining from intentionally taking life whether in civil life, the military, or the government.

Christ's Return
The return of Christ is personal, certain, and imminent. The dead will be resurrected, the just to eternal glory and bliss in heaven and the unjust to everlasting punishment and torment in hell. Satan, death, and hell will be cast into the lake of fire and the glorious reign of the Kingdom of God will be eternally fulfilled.

Creation vs. Evolution
Creation is the explanation of the origin and existence of all things, including the material universe, the spiritual cosmos, and those beings which by freewill rebelled against God and chose an attitude and condition of evil. The origin of the material universe was not a process of natural or theistic evolution.

Communion
Communion is an ordinance instituted by Jesus Christ to symbolize the New Covenant. The bread and the cup are symbols which commemorate Christ's broken body and shed blood, our spiritual life in Him, and the spiritual unity and fellowship of the body of Christ.

Deity of Jesus
Jesus Christ is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the triune Godhead, the eternal Word and divine Son of God. Before his incarnation, He was eternally with God the Father and was God. This position differs from some christologies which describe Jesus as having grown into divinity. In His incarnation, He was fully God and fully man.

Distinguishing Beliefs/Practices
In theology, CMC can be characterized as evangelical, Anabaptist, and conservative with an Arminian perspective. With the inauguration of the New Covenant prophesied in the Old Testament and realized with the ministry and death of Jesus Christ, the disciple of Jesus is called upon to refrain from violence and participation in those aspects of government functions which require the use of force. Simple affirmation, rather than the oath, is exercised even in legal situations. An interpretation and application of I Corinthians 11:1-16 is exercised in many CMC churches by expecting female members to wear a head dress, especially in times of church gatherings. Simplicity of attire is favored and is exercised in varied degrees in the congregations. Along with the observance of the communion service and baptism as ordinances, feet washing is observed.

Divorce and Remarriage
Marriage is intended for "as long as you both shall live." There is no rightful provision for divorce, although in dire cases separation may be feasible or required. Divorce and remarriage after divorce are regarded as violating God's plan, as forgivable with repentance, but not to be repeated by the believer.

Government (Church)
A combination of the congregational and the presbyterial forms of governance prevails in the congregations, with emphasis on the congregational. Major decisions are subject to congregational approval. Ordination is seen as a commissioning to the ministry of the Word, including preaching, teaching, counselling, and the general scope of pastoral work. Ordination is restricted to men. Most congregations include a church council or board of elders consisting of laymen and clergy (ordained.) Other committees and offices are constituted by local congregational decision and provision.

Heaven/Hell
Heaven is the place of everlasting glory and bliss to which the regenerated and cleansed children of God are ushered. The unjust are cast into everlasting punishment and torment in hell. Satan, death, and hell will be cast into the lake of fire and the glorious reign of the Kingdom of God will be eternally fulfilled.

History of Denomination
The first meeting and the origin of Conservative Mennonite Conference occurred near Pigeon, Michigan, on November 24, 25, 1910, at the site of the present Pigeon River Mennonite Church. Five ministers were in attendance, representing Amish Mennonite churches which were reluctant to adopt the Old Order Amish Mennonite approach of maintaining the status quo in cultural expressions while also tending to a greater conservatism than the prevailing Amish Mennonite and Mennonite approach of that time. Earlier backgrounds include the Anabaptist movement which begin to crystallize in 1525 in Switzerland and, in later decades, was influenced significantly by the writings of the Dutch Anabaptist minister, former Catholic priest, Menno Simons. A movement of spiritual fervor and concern about practical applications in the church in the canton of Berne, Switzerland, and in Alsace, France, in the last half of the 18th century, to which the name of Jacob Ammon was attached, also forms a part of the CMC historical background along with migration from Europe to America, especially in the early 18th and early 19th centuries. The stated purpose of the meeting in 1910: "That we stand more closely together in the work of the Lord, to maintain peace and unity in the so called Conservative Amish Mennonite churches."

Homosexuality
Homosexuality is a condition outside God's creational intent. Homosexual behavior is regarded as sinful. Response to homosexual orientation should seek transformation through prayer, God's grace, therapy, and the love and support of Christian believers.

Inspiration of Scriptures
The Scriptures, both Old Testament and New Testament, are the Word of God, a supernatural revelation from God to mankind, verbally inspired by the Holy Spirit through human instrumentality, without error in the original writings in all that they affirm. The Scriptures are the final authority for faith and practice, with the New Testament being the fulfillment of the Old Testament and the perfected rule for the Christian church.

Miracles
Miracles are works of God in which He intervenes in the natural and usual order of His creation. Accounts of miracles in the Scriptures are to be accepted as miraculous. God does miracles today as He chooses. The occurrence of a miracle is not necessarily a test of faith, since God may choose to do or not to do a miracle in the presence of faith.

Restrictions (any required by Constitution)
The CMC Constitution does not specify restrictions to be kept by members of congregations, since restrictions, expectations, and discipline of members are local congregational responsibility. Expectations include refraining from gambling, alcoholic drinking, smoking or chewing tobacco, immodest attire, the oath, and premarital and extra-marital sexual activity.

Security of Salvation
The believer is secure in an ongoing faith expressed and fostered by obedience to Christ. The believer's security is conditional rather than unconditional. The condition for ongoing salvation is an ongoing, trusting, living faith in Christ, John 3:36 can be translated: "He that is believing on the Son is having everlasting life."

Speaking in Tongues and other Gifts of the Spirit
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are meant for the church of Jesus Christ from Pentecost till His return. The gifts are distributed as the Holy Spirit wills in various times and places. Spirituality is indicated by an abundance of the fruit of the Spirit rather than by an abundance of the gifts. Speaking in tongues is recognized and permitted today, but is not required.

Trinity
God Is Three Divine Persons-the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit who are distinct in function, but equal in power and glory. The triune nature of God is both ontological and expressive. The more definite New Testament teaching on divine trinity, in comparison to the less definite teaching of the Old Testament, is not a matter of development of human thought or of God rearranging Himself in order to reveal Himself, but of progression of revelation. The perfect God is triune.

Women in Ministry
It is appropriate for women to be engaged in a large range of ministries. In terms of leadership and governance, the function of authority in administration, teaching, and discernment of the prophetic word is assigned to men. Ordination is restricted to men.
http://www.cmcrosedale.org/about/beliefs.shtml


~~~~~~~~~


Book Review: James Urry: Mennonites, Politics, and Peoplehood
(Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2006)
reviewed by Robert Martens

~snip~
The Mennonite emigrants to North America in the 1870s, suspicious of the republican politics of the United States, generally chose Canada as their destination under the naive misconception that Queen Victoria would grant them a privilegium there. The most traditional, such as the Kleine Gemeinde, refused even to vote in their new land, but other Mennonites, particularly in the West Reserve of Manitoba, were soon involved in politics. Urry describes in fascinating detail the machinations of Conservative and Liberal politicians in their attempts to corner the Mennonite vote in Manitoba. During World War I, however, Mennonites were briefly disenfranchised in Canada. They soon became the "quiet in the land," and many again moved on in the 1920s when legislation focused on educational issues threatened their way of life.

The Russlnder refugees of the 1920s brought with them a sophistication and level of education quite foreign to the Kanadier immigrants of the 1870s. After their devastating experiences in the USSR, the Russlnder also bore a hatred of all things socialist, and some embraced a concept of universal "Germanness" often characterized by anti-Semitism.

The Mennonitische Rundschau in fact published articles in the 1930s in support of Hitler. The grinding poverty Mennonites experienced in Canada, their nostalgia for their Russian homeland, the failure to
establish traditional colonies in Canada, and a chronic distrust of democracy all helped account for the excesses of the "Germanness" movement, but this period remains a black mark in Mennonite history.

Urry does not spare the rod. The "Golden Age" of Russia, he asserts, was a fantasy created in retrospect that cloaked the deep divisions experienced in the "Mennonite Commonwealth." The "organizational genius" attributed to Russlnder was sometimes scarred by inflated claims to power and support of Nazism. Mennonites, Urry maintains, often demanded privilege while neglecting concomitant responsibilities, and at these times might better be called "the loud in the land."

More:
http://www.mhsbc.com/news/v12n02/p04.htm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'd like to add I grew up in a church and family in which the people looked almost exactly like mennonites: all women never cut their hair, wore make up, jewelry, short sleeves, or bright colors, all women wore wrist length sleeves, nearly ankle length dresses, no slacks, jeans, shorts, men didn't wear neckties, nor belts, wore suspenders, hats, no dancing, no swearing, no card playing, no smoking, no drinking, no caffeine, no carbonated beverages, no movies, no television, no popular fiction, no "mixed bathing" (meaning men and women at the beach or a lake at the same time in bathing suits where anyone of the other sex could see them) no radios in cars. No buying anything ever on Sundays, and clearly, NEVER but NEVER any alcohol, etc. Politics? Probably could be seen as being very CONSERVATIVE.

Why you decided to try to scuffle about whether these people in Bolivia could be viewed as conservative or not immediately after the original article was posted is baffling. I added no personal comments to the opening news article, and there was nothing in the article itself to indicate a slur against the Mennonites' politics.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. Maybe this ort will be helpful:
Edited on Wed Jun-24-09 08:48 AM by Judi Lynn
Archive for Tuesday, May 06, 2008
A new faith in politics
At Indiana college, young Mennonites are going where few have gone before
By Charles Leroux and
May 06, 2008

~snip~
The nearly 300,000 U.S. Mennonites are not a huge voting bloc and, overall,are far more conservative than these students, with 50 percent expressing apreference for Republicans versus 22 percent for Democrats in 2006, accordingto a Pew Research Center survey. But here at this 114-year-old college,articulate, thoughtful, passionate kids are thinking they just might matterand are going politically where few contemporary Mennonites often spoken ofas being quiet in the land have gone before.

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2008/may/06/world/ch...

On edit, adding reference:
Gregory Boyd: Mennonites: theyre in trouble

~snip~But there was another very interesting thing I learned about the Mennonites: theyre in trouble. I heard this from a number of people, including John Roth. One man literally wept as he told me how hes been grieved seeing Mennonites abandon their core vision of the Kingdom and core convictions over the last several decades. Theyre losing their counter-cultural emphasis and becoming Americanized and mainstreamed (as various people told me). Consequently, many Mennonite leaders are getting involved in partisan politics in a way that goes against the Mennonite tradition. While Evangelicals tend to be co-opted by Right Wing politics, these leaders are being co-opted by Left Wing politics. Theyre basically defining Kingdom social activism as supporting radical democratic policies. Yet, three fourths of Mennonites are Republican. Hence theres growing tensions between the leadership and the body of the Mennonites.
http://young.anabaptistradicals.org/2007/10/26/gregory-...
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rox63 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 06:13 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Most of the Mennonites I've known are politically liberal
And they don't shun contact with the outside world. In fact, one I've met worked as a scientist at the EPA.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #4
17. The Mennonites in Mexico and Bolivia are much more conservative than the North
and they do not get involved in politics (and they all speak low German). When I first started going to Casas Grandes in Chihuahua, the Mennonites shunned electricity and cars (although they would ride buses into town) now they own trucks and most Campos have electricity. I met some missionaries from Canada a couple years ago that were working in the little books store in town, they told us how the women coming in barely understood how their own reproductive systems worked - they were as restrictive about some things as any conservative Muslim sect.

When the movement for some modernization was accepted in Mexico about 7 years ago many of them left to go to Bolivia. So I wonder if the victims or maybe the perpetrators are "newcomers"? Interesting and sad.

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 05:50 AM
Response to Original message
5. Gods Land: Mennonites and land ownership in Bolivia
Gods Land: Mennonites and land ownership in Bolivia
January 20, 2009



Came across this excellent radio documentary which briefly reviews the current hardships Mennonites in Bolivia are experiencing as their way of life intersects with the current Bolivian political reality.

From the CBC:
Forty years ago, a group of Canadian Mennonites packed up and headed for Bolivia. They went in search of good farm land and isolation. And thats what they got. But now, their quiet, comfortable existence has been caught up in a fierce political debate.

According to one study, the majority of arable land in Bolivia is concentrated on just 700 farms leaving many of the countrys indigenous people with little or nothing. Evo Morales has vowed to change that. Hes Bolivias first indigenous leader and hes proposing a series of new laws on land ownership as well as a new constitution that Bolivians will vote on in two weeks. And if those laws pass, the Mennonites and there are nearly ten thousand of them could see their way of life disappear.

Freelance broadcaster Sarah Richards traveled to eastern Bolivia to visit these reclusive Mennonite communities. And shes prepared this documentary about their uncertain future. Its called Gods Land.

Listen to the documentary on the CBC website. Scroll down to Part 2.

http://liberalitas.wordpress.com/2009/01/20/gods-land-m... /

~~~~~~~~~~~~





Mennonites in Bolivia
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeeObNFv30s

Bolivian Reforms Raise Anxiety on Mennonite Frontier



By SIMON ROMERO
Published: December 21, 2006

MANITOBA, Bolivia, Dec. 19 With its horse-drawn buggies, farmhouses with manicured lawns and fields planted to the horizon with soybeans and sorghum, this Mennonite settlement in Bolivias eastern lowlands feels like a tropical version of rural Ohio or Pennsylvania.

That placid impression lasts until farmers here start talking about their fears of President Evo Moraless plans for land reform.

One year into an administration that intends to reverse centuries of subjugation of Bolivias indigenous majority, Mr. Morales has plans to redistribute as many as 48 million acres of land, considered idle or ill gotten through opaque purchase agreements, to hundreds of thousands of peasants.

The project won approval last month in Congress, and thousands of Mr. Moraless supporters marched in La Paz, the capital, in celebration. But it has shaken Manitoba and Bolivias 41 other Mennonite farming communities.

~snip~
Families in Manitoba and other Mennonite communities tend to be large, often with 6 to 12 children. With family farms generally limited to about 100 acres, population growth inevitably pushes families to search for new land to settle.

More:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/21/world/americas/21boli...
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Blandocyte Donating Member (830 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 06:32 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. I love those pics
Everytime I look at them Forrest Gump quotes start running through my head. "... and me and Jenny was like peas and carrots again."
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a la izquierda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 06:42 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. Interesting post...
there's a huge Mennonite community in northern Mexico. You know it's "cheesing" time when a whole bunch of blonde, sunburned folks show up on the corners selling cheese and cookies (and they're yummy).

How they make a living off of the deserts of Chihuahua boggles the mind. Maybe I'll have to write a book about it someday.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #9
19. Until recently there wasn't a whole lot of deep groundwater pumping in Northern Chihuhua
Edited on Wed Jun-24-09 09:39 AM by Kali
So there has been actual surface water available for irrigation. Nafta is probably going to kill that too. I've seen some big ass fields going in along highway 2 between the big Pass west of El Valle (west of Agua Preita) and Janos and of course it is all huge mechanized fields from there to Casas Grandes now - 15 years ago they were still being worked by animals. Further south around Chihuhua City and west it really isn't desert and there are lots of big irrigation impoundments.

My impression was they make and sell cheese pretty much year round. I have noticed that lots of the stands around Janos and El Capaulin (sp?) have hired non-Mennonite Mexicans to run them (especially on Sundays - when they used to close up, funny how money can override religion, sometimes)

edit to add: Queso Meninito - :9 :9 :9 !
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a la izquierda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. Well, they seem to only show up...
in Guadalajara at certain times of the year. But man alive, their cookies and cheese are wonderful.

I'm hoping to do a road trip across Chihuahua next summer.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 09:51 AM
Response to Reply #21
24. Do it soon. Nafta is going to ruin more and more special places and the people who live there.
Edited on Wed Jun-24-09 09:51 AM by Kali
I love Chihuahua. Wish I could spend more time exploring. Are the Mennonites coming to Guadalajara coming from Chihuahua or around Mexico City? I think there are some large Campos there too.
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a la izquierda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 04:31 PM
Response to Reply #24
31. I think from Chihuahua, from what my friends say.
And I want to go see the archaeological site at Paquime (Casas Grandes). I'm a historian of indigenous peoples...I love ancient Mexico.
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-25-09 01:01 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. Paquime - so different from my first trip
lots of reconstruction, but the Museum (of Northern Cultures) is nice. If you need any "visitors" info on the Casas Grandes area let me know - been going for a long time. (I'm also next door to the Amerind Foundation - the director of which at the time was David DiPeso - primary investigator of Casas Grandes - Paquime. More connections as well, but that is enough for public consumption. ;)
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a la izquierda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-25-09 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #33
34. Thanks...
I will definitely keep that in mind :)
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imdjh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 07:27 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. Those are the most colorful Mennonites i have ever seen
I had no idea that they adapt to the culture of their country of citizenship. Mennonites dressed in floral clothes and eating tortillas is quite outside my experience.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #11
16. That startled me, too! They've gone wild, I tell ya! n/t
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #11
20. that is how they dress in Mexico too
and they do NOT blend in - very distinctive dress.
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
12. Rev. Moon Paraguay. Mennonites Bolibia. U.S. bases in Paraguay under
last leader, said to be chasing terrorists, believed to have been preparing for invasion of Bolivia. We learn our geography.
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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 07:53 AM
Response to Original message
13. There are no words...
:(
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 09:36 AM
Response to Original message
18. Not every judiciary in the world is looking for justice. This could be
a timely rescue of a group of women, or a frame-up designed to get rid of some foreigners.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
22. AFP: Mennonites arrested for multiple rapes: Bolivia
Mennonites arrested for multiple rapes: Bolivia
14 hours ago

LA PAZ (AFP) Seven members of a religious Mennonite colony in Bolivia have been arrested for the alleged rape of 60 women in their community over the past few months, the federal prosecutor said.

"There are at least 60 victims," said prosecutor Freddy Perez. "They didn't even spare pregnant women."

Two young girls are also among the alleged victims, according to the leader of the Mennonite community in Manitoba (1,100 km from La Paz), Peter Kelsner Peters, who was quoted in the El Deber newspaper.

The accused, ranging in age from 18 to 41 years old, targeted the women in the community's dormitories, the press report said.

They sprayed a narcotic substance that rendered the women unconscious and then raped them.

The men were identified after their arrest by one of their victims, who woke up during an attack.

The seven accused, who deny the allegations, are set to appear before a judge Wednesday to be charged, though two remain at large.

More:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jelV...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
23. Reuters: Mennonites accused of mass rape in Bolivia
Mennonites accused of mass rape in Bolivia
Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:09am IST

LA PAZ (Reuters) - Eight men from a Mennonite community in Bolivia have been arrested and accused of raping at least 60 women from their farming settlement in the eastern Santa Cruz region, a prosecutor said on Tuesday.
"We've been told that more than 60 women from the Manitoba Mennonite community (could have been raped). Possibly many more ... it seems this has been going on for about 10 years," prosecutor Freddy Perez told local television network PAT.

The arrested men could have used drugs to sedate their victims, said Perez, adding the men were suspected of raping at least two underage girls.

"They confessed when they were detained by members of their community ... now they are denying (the charges)," said Perez.

PAT aired images of the eight Mennonite men wearing overalls and baseball caps behind bars in a prison in the town of Cotoca, in Santa Cruz, the country's agricultural heartland.

More:
http://in.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idINIndia-40557...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 10:00 AM
Response to Original message
25. Something to ponder: these people have been involved in using indigenous people as slaves:
Have read about enslavement of the Guarani before, even have posted on an American rancher there who has been charged with using these people as slaves, but this is the first I've heard any Mennonites are also involved:
PERMANENT FORUM EXPERTS RECOUNT RECENT MISSION TO PARAGUAY, BOLIVIA, URGING END TO SEMI-SLAVERY OF GUARANI AND OTHER INDIGENOUS PEOPLES OF CHACO REGION

Provisional Agenda for Next Session, on Culture, Identity, Challenged

By Indigenous Groups Seeking Broader Scope, Greater Involvement in Proceedings

The semi-slavery of the Guarani and other indigenous peoples of the Chaco region must swiftly end, with their grievances redressed and land rights restored, members of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues told delegates today, revealing findings from their mission to Paraguay and Bolivia.

During their 25 April to 6 May mission, Forum experts met with victims of forced labour and servitude, members of the Cattle Ranchers Association, various Government officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations and senior United Nations staff. Their draft report ‑‑ to be released soon ‑‑ included recommendations for improving the compliance of Paraguay and Bolivia with their international human rights law obligations.

Shedding light on the Chaco regions history, Carlos Mamani Condori, Forum member from Bolivia, said the area spanned swaths of land in Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. The Guarani, once among the largest indigenous groups in Latin America, had become slaves in Paraguay and Bolivia, which went to war from 1932 to 1935 over the Chaco territories. With the arrival in the 1930s of the Mennonites, many Guarani were forced into servitude, particularly on large estates ‑‑ haciendas ‑‑ in Bolivias southern lowlands, where they still worked the land.

Bartolome Clavero Salvador, Forum member from Spain, picked up from there, saying that the Paraguayan Government must ensure that State institutions provided services in areas where forced labour existed. The legal office of Paraguays Ministry of Justice and Labour should ensure indigenous rights, according to both the Constitution and international law. To do that, the Paraguay Indigenous Peoples Institute ‑‑ rather than stay within the Ministry ‑‑ should become part of the Presidents Office, or an independent body altogether. With such reform, the Institute could then work with indigenous people on a plan of action to address the causes of forced labour.

In addition, he said the regions discriminatory social services system must be eliminated. Under that system, indigenous peoples did not receive a pension or workers compensation insurance for accidents. The Mennonites should have no jurisdiction over health and other social and community services for indigenous peoples, nor should they be able to manage State funds for indigenous peoples.

~snip~
Forum members and officials of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, World Food Programme (WFP), International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) had participated in the mission, he said. The Guarani people had been one of the largest indigenous groups in Latin America. But they had become slaves in Paraguay and Bolivia, which had been at war from 1932 to 1935 over the Chaco territories, during which Bolivia had lost much of its Chaco land to Paraguay. (A 1921 law in Paraguay allowed the Mennonites to create a state within the state of Boqueron, which was part of the Chaco region.) Since the 1930s, when Mennonites arrived en masse, Mennonite settlements in the Boqueron had flourished economically. The Guarani and other indigenous people, however, had been forced into a situation of servitude. The Mennonites controlled the local and regional Government there and viewed the Guarani simply as a source of forced labour. They did not recognize the Guarani peoples right to the land.

The lowland corridor area (in what now comprised the south-eastern part of Bolivia that bordered Paraguay) had been separated into the Tarija and Chuquisaca regions, he said. The Guarani land there had been turned into large estates, known as haciendas, which still housed enslaved Guarani people, who were forced to work on the estates. Some of those Guarani had tried in vain to move to nearby towns. It was important to recognize the efforts of the Governments of Paraguay and Bolivia to rectify that situation. The Forum mission had been well received by both Governments, who committed themselves to restoring the rights of the Guarani people. The Bolivian Government was truly committed to restoring the land to the Guarani people. The Forum had allies in both Governments.

BARTOLOME CLAVERO SALVADOR, Forum member from Spain, who had also participated in the mission, outlined several of the Forums recommendations to the Paraguayan Government. He said the Government of Paraguay should implement the Forums suggestions with the free, prior and informed consent of the indigenous people who would be affected. The report had a section on institutional strengthening, bearing in mind that the Chaco region was under the economic, social and religious control of the Mennonite Church. It stated that the Paraguay Government must ensure that state institutions provide services where there was forced labour, particularly forced child labour.
More:
http://7thspace.com/headlines/310571/permanent_forum_ex...
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. interesting, although it doesn't quite say the large estates are Mennonite owned.
Not entirely clear in the wording. In Chihuahua, they do hire non-Mennonites but the farms seem small and individually owned while the cheese facilities seem to be communally or co-operatively run.
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Mudoria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #25
27. The article says that this may have happened in the 1930's
it says nothing about the Mennonites continuing the practice recently.
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gauguin57 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 11:30 AM
Response to Original message
28. There are different kinds of Mennonites. There are Old Order, buggy drivers ...
... who look a lot like the Amish. Then, there are modern Mennonites who go around the world doing good works ... they live up to their "peace church" moniker.

This doesn't surprise me too much. These sects that break off from society (and its scrutiny) in the alleged name of God have the potential to go very wrong. What else is new.

Some Amish treat their women and their animals badly. The women's mandated dress is a few steps below a burqa (you'll be shunned if you don't wear it). Must cover their heads (because women must follow biblical edict to cover heads while praying and to pray without ceasing, ergo, cover head all the time). Their kids get in horrible farming accidents all the time. They run puppy mills and overbreed and abuse the mother dogs.

Not all Amish are "quaint" and "neat" like the ones you saw in "Witness."
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
29. i hope they go away for a long time...
and as long as there are insular, exploitative, sexually repressive fundie sects like this, young men will continue to act out in violent, dangerous and destructive ways...
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juno jones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
30. I guess I met the 'ugly' mennonites.
Openly racist, sexist motherfuckers. And they sure as fuck weren't pacifst when it came to other religions.

However, since they were not necessarily living the 'mennonite' life, they may have been apostates who merely identified with the term due to upbringing, etc.

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rabs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-24-09 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
32. Short docu of Mennonites in Bolivia


May have missed it but did not see in any of the links provided whether the rape victims were Mennonite women or native Bolivian women who work as nannies and housekeepers etc.

Docu shows European-looking Mennonites who stand out from native Bolivians. Cowboy-style hats and bib-overalls seem to the uniform for the men; flowery dresses for the women.

Seems they speak Low German among themselves.

Docu also shows tropical, fertile area in the Santa Cruz de la Sierra region where the Mennonites have settled, as opposed to the barren Andean Altiplano (Highlands) where most Bolivian Indians live.

(Video from 2006)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeeObNFv30s
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