Rido and Transport Dispute:
Mediators in Action in Mindanao
Rido refers to a state of recurring hostilities between families and kinship groups characterized by a series of retaliatory acts of violence carried out to a avenge a perceived affront or injustice (Torres, et al, 2007). Two of three cases highlighted in this issue of The Mediator show the complexity as well as the challenges in resolving rido cases. But attempt to resolve them we must. Rido have caused so much untold suffering. In addition to numerous casualties, rido have caused the destruction of properties, crippled the local economy, displaced communities, and fomented fear (Torres, et.al, 2007).
Land disputes and political rivalries are the most common causes of rido. However, these are often aggravated by formations of alliances with armed groups, the proliferation of firearms, the lack of law enforcement, and an ineffectual justice system. There is also a lack of credible mediators in conflict-prone areas to help resolve rido cases. We can do something about the latter. Developing and mentoring mediators in rido-affected areas remain our most urgent tasks.
The first rido case featured in this issue stems from a land conflict that is complicated by a mistaken identity in avenging a drug-related killing. Mediation in this case has been successfully concluded, aided with good conflict analysis and thorough mediation efforts.
The second case is a result of a killing of a revered clan leader, and features the noteworthy efforts to intervene by local governments and local mediators mentored by MedNet. While the case is still inresolved, mentoring activities have been successful in sharpening the analysis by local mediators and in strategizing on ways forward. Indeed, such is the complexities of the cases that whether successfully resolved or not, attempts to mediate guided by good conflict diagnoses are worthy to be documented and shared.
The third case in this issue involved a community dispute on transportation. The proliferation of habal-habal, the poor’s most affordable accessible transportation in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, caused a community conflict among transport providers, potentially disrupting services. Training on dispute resolution processes and conflict mapping activities have resulted to awareness on issues raised by commuters, and helped improve relationships among transport providers.
The above cases spotlight Mindanao as an interesting terrain as ever for mediators like us. Community mediation, such as that for rido and transport cases, remains as relevant as ever and as responsive to the needs of communities we serve. Let us continue the struggle within this area. Let us mediate and mentor other mediators in Mindanao and elsewhere, and continue on as if it is impossible to fail.