Well – this is after all the reason why i’m here. On the last day now of the conference – and it has been a great week. Around 80 pastors and leaders from a whole range of denominations have gathered here – and this is the first weird thing – we’re staying at the Peruvian Police Casino and Country Club. Quite a posh but surreal place, around 30 minutes out of Lima in the desert hills. I’ve searched in vain for the gaming tables and roulette wheels (no bad thing) – but the place has certainly been crawling with police officers and their families while we’ve been here. Needless to say, we’ve all been on our best behaviour.
mm-with-carla.jpg
Peru is a land of 2000 potato varieties. Not quite sure they need so many – but we seem to have a different variety at every meal. Food has been lovely though – lots of lovely fresh fish and fruit – exactly the same range of fruit as we enjoyed in Uganda.

3 greatest honours of the week (if not a lifetime):
(i) Was mistaken for John Stott – one of the more senior ladies here turned to one of the organisers after my first talk and asked ‘Is that really John Stott? He looks so young!’

(ii) Offered my first England football cap – i know many have been wondering what the future would hold in the post-Beckham era. Well now you know – I AM THE FUTURE. On Tuesday night after supper, some delegates wanted a Peru vs England match. Would have been slightly one-sided i fear – it would have entailed a rather unfair 15 vs 1 – and i’m not sure i even constitute a full ‘1’, because i am the proud possessor of two left feet. Still, i’m afraid i passed on the honour this time – the cap will have to wait for now. But watch this space…

hugo-chavez-at-un.jpgmm-with-hugo.jpg(iii) High level negotiations with the west’s thorn in the side – you will know about Hugo Chavez, the controversial Venezuelan president. Here’s a pic of him at the UN.
Well – he’s actually been here at our conference – or at least he is under a cover name (Pastor Jorge Soto). Real privilege to have good quality time with a national president who wants to learn how to preach better. You don’t get many of those.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Mark,
    Will you accept a new commentary on your site related to Manny Gonzales the kid that everyone forgot in the CA prison system,or are you just interested in being listed as a supporter of the issue only on Google listings ?

  2. Mark,
    We invite you and all your readers to be our guests in watching how average Americans attempt to make change with injustices being inflicted on thousands of poor prison inmates in the Worlds Richest Democracy.As many of you already know we at Lawyers For Poor Americans have requested President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela to assist with the legal expenses for this kid Manny Gonzales to have an appeal lawyer work on his federal appeal court case in the Ca central District Federal Court of appeals in Riverside California. Our US Congress Mark has never afforded our poor uneducated prison inmates lawyers for their retrial appeals in our federal courts,and this neglect and injustice is forcing tens of thousands of mostly uneducated prison inmates like Manny Gonzales into becoming their own best lawyers.Manny Gonzales our poster child of this US Congressional injustice and neglect will spend 24 more years in prison if his federal appeal fails with his ( hand written from prison ) retrial review legal paperwork.Manny Gonzales just acquired his GED degree in prison after three years, and our US Congress is somehow under the impression that this high school degree now qualifies this 21 year old kid to represent his federal retrial appeal legal case.The United States being the richest country in the world has what we call appeal lawyers Mark. These specialists in appeal law have what we call law degrees. This degree enables these lawyers to practice law and work for clients legally. Anyone who attempts to represent a client in America without this law degree faces prison time. The American courts have protected the US public in not allowing anyone to pretend to be a lawyer without a law degree and begin to start charging clients with legal problems to represent them in any US court. Some how Mark,this same interest of protection from bad legal skills by the unlicensed lawyer is not carried into our prisons. In the US prisons somehow its ok and even encouraged for unlicensed prison inmates to assist others with their legal appeals.
    We ask all of you in the international community if this US judicial system where the wealthy Americans can afford their own federal appeal lawyers (with law degrees) to properly work on and submit their retrial review legal cases, and the tens of thousands of other poor Americans in US prisons being forced to attempt to write their own federal retrial appeal cases is proper and equal justice? Mark this obvious in the open neglect of our US Congress to afford all poor Americans federal appeal attorneys for their retrials some believe stems all the way back to Americas dark past history of mistreatment of black Americans. In the past when American blacks were wrongly incarcerated in certain southern states and when they would attempt to seek justice through our federal appeal courts, they did not have the educational abilities to submit their legal cases properly to win new trials. This devious way of incarceration Mark,is still running smoothly within our so called american judicial system
    today. Many in America are now coming to understand that this human rights violation is a
    crime against humanity and needs International assistance to correct.Manny Gonzales the
    kid that everyone forgot in the Ca prison system can be found with any WWW search engine.At this WWW site everyone interested can view the international request posted to President Hugo Chavez and the hundreds of comments about this the greatest injustice inflicted on poor Americans since the American Civil War.

  3. The Supreme Court of the United States of America stated in 1984.

    “Of all the rights that an accused person has, the right to be represented by counsel is by far the most pervasive, for it affects his ability to assert any other rights he may have.”

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