LAWGEF Supports Protests against Violence in Mexico

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The LAWGEF stands with groups throughout Mexico and around the world in denouncing the bloodshed and impunity associated with President Calderón’s U.S.-supported “drug war” that has claimed over 36,000 lives. In early April, mass mobilizations and pointed criticism by groups and communities across Mexico marked some of the most heated and historic condemnation yet of the Mexican government’s increasingly unpopular military campaign to defeat organized crime. Since these April demonstrations, support for the movement calling for an end to violence and impunity in Mexico has grown exponentially and will culminate in a massive wave of marches and protests throughout the country this weekend.

LAWGEF and the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) sent this message of solidarity to the Mexican people participating in these protests against violence. Check out the English language version of the statement below–or click here for Spanish.

Beginning on May 5, Javier Sicilia, a Mexican poet whose son was murdered on March 28, will lead a march from Cuernavaca to Federal District to demand an end to violence in the country. The march will culminate with activities in Mexico City on May 8. Simultaneous demonstrations will occur in other parts of the country as well as cities outside of Mexico. Protesters include diverse sectors of civil society, human rights defenders, intellectuals, youth, women’s organizations, religious and business leaders, among others. We, as organizations that promote and defend human rights, add our support to the protests against violence in Mexico.

The country’s current situation shows that there are many reasons to protest. Since 2006, more than 36,000 people have died as a result of the fight against drug trafficking and organized crime in Mexico; the vast majority of these deaths have not been investigated and the perpetrators walk free. The National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) reports that more than 5,000 people have been disappeared since 2006, a number 300% higher than the number of people disappeared during the 1970s “Dirty War.” Mass graves with hundreds of bodies are being discovered in the north of the country. Thousands of migrants in transit have been robbed, kidnapped, extorted, and killed. Enough is enough.

This week’s protests express society’s frustration with the high levels of violence, and they demand an end to the bloodshed and impunity. We lament the death of the thousands of people that have been victims of the violence in Mexico, and we add our voices to those of all Mexicans who demand an end to violence and impunity and who fight for peace and respect for human rights.