ORIGINS OF CEPA
The CEPA was formed amid important social and political events which were occurring in Europe and in America itself in the mid-twentieth century. The outbreak of World War II in 1939, dramatically affecting Spiritist activities in France, Spain and other European countries; the disappearance of the International Spiritist Federation, based in Paris; and furthering the goal of the Argentinian Spiritist Confederation to create a Spiritist Confederation in America, mobilizing the Kardecist thought within the American cultural environment, were the main reasons that led a group of Argentine Spiritists, led by Mr. Hugo Lino Nale, to undertake, at the headquarters of the Argentinian Spiritist Confederation, the 1st Pan American Spiritist Congress, from October 5th to the 13th in 1946. This is when CEPA was founded with representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, United States, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Uruguay. In this process stood out the leadership of Natalio Ceccarini, Naum Kreiman, Santiago Bossero, Humberto Mariotti, José Tejada, Luis Di Cristóforo Postiglioni, Antonio Melo (Brazil), Albíreo Barcón, and Elías Toker. Later, the organization was strengthened by Brazilian Spiritists such as Deolindo Amorim, Col. Pedro Delfino Ferreira, Aurino Barboza Souto, and Ismael Gomes Braga, participants of the old Spiritist League of Brazil, and others from Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre, as Dr. Paul Hecker. The Congress made the decision to adopt the vine strain as a symbol of CEPA (which is an acronym that also describes the vine in Spanish/Portuguese), the same used by Kardec to identify Spiritism. The CEPA began, thus with a double meaning in its acronym, its march towards the progress of Spiritist ideas.
It was in 2016, seventy years after its founding, given the insistent demands, mainly from the Spiritist community in Europe, identified with the secular and freethinker character of the Spiritist doctrine, that CEPA changed its statutes, becoming the CEPA - INTERNATIONAL SPIRITIST ASSOCIATION, while keeping part of its original acronym.
CONGRESSES AND CONFERENCES
The 2nd Congress, held in Rio de Janeiro from October 3rd to the 12th in 1949, was organized by the Spiritist League of Brazil under its President Aurino Barboza Souto and Secretary Deolindo Amorim. During this congress, various leaders of Brazilian Spiritism were present, like Lins de Vasconcellos, Carlos Imbassahy, Lauro Sales, Francisco Klors Werneck, deputy Campos Vergal, Col. Delfino Ferreira, Leopoldo Machado, João B. Chagas, Eden Dutra Nascimento, Sebastião Costa, Euripedes de Castro, and many other representatives of statewide organizations in Brazil, from Pernambuco to Rio Grande do Sul. The circumstances allowed the Brazilians gathered in this Congress an opportunity to begin an approach of the Brazilian Spiritist Movement around the FEB (Brazilian Spiritist Federation). They reached an agreement and created the National Federative Council, an event that became known in Brazil as the Golden Pact. Also in this Congress Col. Pedro Delfino Ferreira, a Brazilian, was elected as the second president of CEPA. He directed the organization in the period 1949-1952.
Since then, motivated by disagreements with the direction of the Brazilian spiritist movement, CEPA no longer held events in Brazil until 2000, when, under the management of Jon Aizpúrua, the XVIII Congress takes place in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
From 1964 to 2002, CEPA also performs, alternately different congresses and regional conferences.
PRESIDENTS OF CEPA
1946/1949 - José S. Fernández (Buenos Aires - Argentina)
1949/1953 - Pedro Delfino Ferreira (Rio de Janeiro - Brazil)
1953/1957 - Miguel Santiesteban (Havana - Cuba)
1957/1960 - Guillermina de Fermaintt (San Juan – Puerto Rico)
1960/1963 - Mauro Jiménez Pelaez (Mexico City - Mexico)
1963/1966 - Natalio Ceccarini (Buenos Aires - Argentina)
1966/1972 - Dante Culzoni Soriano (Rafaela - Argentina)
1972/1975 - Romeo Molfino (Rafaela - Argentina)
1975/1990 - Hermas Culzoni Soriano (Rafaela - Argentina)
1990/1993 - Pedro A. Barboza de la Torre (Maracaibo - Venezuela)
1993/2000 - Jon Aizpúrua (Caracas - Venezuela)
2000/2008 - Milton Rubens Medran Moreira (Porto Alegre - Brazil)
2008/2016 - Dante López (Rafaela - Argentina)
2016/2020 - Jacira Jacinto da Silva (São Paulo – Brazil)