Editorial

It is in Europe where War Resisters' International (WRI) was founded. It is also there and in the USA where it has its bigger number of members and supporters. Clearly this is reflected in the way it functions as also in the issues that takes on. For the same reasons the groups that identify most strongly with the international are those in Europe plus War Resisters League in the USA. Through the years WRI has worked to become - as its name says - truly international, by adding groups and having activities with groups in other regions of the world. The best example of this effort is Latin America, where there have been several initiatives to make WRI more present and for the region to have a stronger presence in the International. Examples such as the Working Group that functioned in the 1980s and 1990s, the Triennial in Brazil (1994) or Juan De Wandelaer's role as a representative in the region and Cecilia Moretti's as vice-chair are just some of them.

In recent years, WRI has added a significant number of groups to the network, has employed staff in London coming from the region, has had Latin Americans on Council and the Executive, and many of WRI's materials have been translated into Spanish, which has become the second language of the WRI (still behind English but ahead of French and German). So why there is still the perception of distance and of not ownership with WRI? This has to do with the continued domination of the organisation by Europe and the USA, which is reflected in its structures and in the way of working on antimilitarism and nonviolence. But in fact the doors of WRI are more than open for a bigger influence of Latin America in the network. The challenge is to build a WRI identity for Latin America, with the issues that interest us, way of working and of relating that we feel comfortable with. First of all we need to strengthen the work between antimilitarist groups in the region, where there is not a real articulation and clarity on how to work with our own diversity.

This seems to be a slow process and with quite a few holes, this Broken Rifle tries to fill some of these holes. This has been a common effort of groups and people, to try to build this identity, by working together.

Javier Gárate