Rubén Zamora - guest speaker for Romero Week 2018

The Romero Trust has invited as its guest speaker for the Romero Week events in March, Rubén Zamora. He is a distinguished Salvadoran diplomat, academic and social democratic politician with close links to the UK. From a devout Catholic family, Rubén Zamora studied for the priesthood for several years before pursuing a career in politics. After a degree in Law in El Salvador he obtained an MA in Political Science from Essex University.

As a member of the Christian Democrat Party of El Salvador he served briefly in the cabinet of the 1979 reformist government, resigning in early 1980 in protest at the escalation of repression. His brother, the Attorney General Mario Zamora, was assassinated by a right wing death squad in February 1980.

Throughout the war in El Salvador Ruben Zamora was a passionate advocate for peace, and as a founding member of the political opposition front, FDR, he travelled the world to build diplomatic support for peace negotiations. Due to threats against his family, he was forced to spend some years in exile but after the Peace Accords in 1992, he stood as presidential candidate of the FDR-FMLN centre-left coalition.

During the 1990s, he served as Vice President of the National Assembly and as a member of the National Peace Commission, and he founded and led the United Democratic Centre party. He has taught political science at several Universities in Central America as well as in Stanford University and Essex, worked as an advisor on democratisation in Africa and has published many works on Salvadoran politics. In late 2017 Ruben Zamora stepped down from his post as El Salvador's permanent representative to the United Nations having served previously as the country's Ambassador to the United States and Ambassador to India. He is currently based in El Salvador as an advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ruben knew Archbishop Romero and he will be perfectly placed to examine the social conflict and violence in El Salvador today in the light of Romero's approach to endemic violence. He is also well placed to respond to President Trump's disgusting description of El Salvador when cancelling Temporary Protected Status programme for some 200,000 Salvadorans living and working in the US.

'Romero and the Social Challenges of El Salvador Today' will be the title of Ruben's presentations in: Cardiff at the Cornerstone Centre, Thursday March 15th at 7.30pm ; Cambridge -Wesley Methodist Church, Friday March 16th at 7pm; Liverpool - Liverpool Hope University, Monday March 19th at 7pm; Leeds - Mill Hill Chapel City Square, Tuesday March 20th at 7pm;

The key event will be the Ecumenical Service in St Martin in the Fields on Saturday March 17th at 11am. The service and his address is entitled 'Peace - the product of Justice and Love'

On Saturday March 24th, the 38th anniversary of Oscar Romero's martyrdom, there will be a special Mass in St George's Cathedral, Southwark, at 12.30pm, celebrated by Archbishop Peter Smith at which Bishop John Rawsthorne will preach. That same afternoon Evensong at Westminster Abbey at 3pm, will include a performance of the motet, 'A Special Appeal', written to celebrate Romero's centenary by Sir James MacMillan.

All are welcome at all these events.

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Tags: Romero, Romero Trust, Rubén Zamora

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