London. – During a special event in the historic Christ Church and Upton Chapel in London, Paz y Esperanza officially launched its first office in the United Kingdom on June 22, 2011. An estimated 80 people were present at the inaugural event and had the opportunity to learn about its work on key issues in Latin America, including violence against women and children, reparations for those who are victims of political violence and the lack of access to justice.

Everyone in attendance signed a letter addressed to authorities of Peru, asking them to accelerate the investigation into the murder of more then 100 people in the town of Putis, high in the Peruvian Andes more than 25 years ago. The bodies in the clandestine graves were only exhumed in 2008 and given a dignified burial. but the crime remains to be properly investigated. Attendees also placed hand-prints on a canvas wall to symbolize their commitment to combating violence against women.

Christ Church and Upton Chapel, the venue for the event, has a significant social justice history. It was the site where the Bible Society and several other significant Christian initiatives began. In fact, William Wilberforce (1759–1833), a devout Christian and social activist, used the chapel as a meeting place for the anti-slavery movement in the United Kingdom.

"Our commitment is to raise awareness amongst Britain churches about the situation of human rights in Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru," said Graham Gordon, Director of Paz y Esperanza-UK: "We believe we can learn a lot from our brothers and sisters in Latin America about how to live and how to be faithful to the demands of a God who loves justice."

Founded in Peru over 15 years ago, Paz y Esperanza is a Christian human rights organisation dedicated to the promotion of justice and the respect for human rights for poor and marginalised people and those suffering injustice in Latin America. Together with other independent organizations in Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, the US and the UK, Paz y Esperanza is united by a common vision, mission, principals and other values. The Trustees of Paz y Esperanza UK are people who have worked in Latin America for many years and know the context and needs of the continent.

London, July 2011