We’re moving full speed ahead with the “Stop Gun Smuggling to Mexico” campaign and want to make sure to keep you in the loop. We’ve seen some small but significant progress lately, and there are a number of exciting developments on the horizon that we want you to know about, so check out the updates below!
If you haven’t already, click here to tell President Obama to stop gun smuggling into Mexico.
Judge’s Decision Protects New Tool to Thwart Trafficking of Assault Rifles into Mexico
As you may remember, back in July the Obama administration delivered on one of the campaign’s key demands: that gun shops in southwest border states notify the ATF when a person buys multiple assault rifles within a week’s time. This is an important tool to identify and break-up illegal gun smuggling that leads to devastating bloodshed in communities across Mexico. Not surprisingly the gun lobby challenged this new reporting rule in court.
After four months, the decision finally came in. In her ruling, Judge Rosemary Collyer upheld the new federal reporting requirements, noting that the rules are “reasonable” given evidence that “certain powerful long guns are weapons of choice of Mexican drug cartels” and “multiple sales of such guns is a strong indicator of gun trafficking.” As observed by Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign, it was a “stinging defeat” for the gun lobby and a victory for all of us struggling to end horrific gun violence.
But it’s not just the ruling of a federal judge that we’re applauding. We’re celebrating the incredible support of people just like you who stood up to illegal gun smuggling and stood against violence in Mexico. We want to say thank you to everyone who signed the petition to President Obama asking that he take action against gun smuggling to Mexico. Over 30,000 people have signed the petition so far, sending a clear message to the President that more must be done to confront a problem that has contributed to over 60,000 deaths in Mexico.
Art Exhibit in Mexico City Raises Awareness about Arms Trafficking
If you’re in Mexico City, be sure to check out the powerful mixed media exhibit “A Farwell to Arms” that opened in the Museum of Memory and Tolerance in Mexico City a few months ago. The exhibit focuses on illegal arms trafficking from the United States to Mexico in an attempt to raise awareness about this deadly business and build the peace movement. Discussions are underway to explore how this exhibit might be brought to communities in the U.S. as well.
Mexico’s Peace and Justice Movement Plans Caravan to the United States
Members of the Moviemiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad (Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity), including Mexican poet and peace activist Javier Sicilia, are laying the groundwork for a caravan that will visit communities throughout the United States in the summer of 2012. Gun trafficking will be a central focus, for, as Javier Sicilia’s has put it, “The United States must assume responsibility for the violence in Mexico, because, in a way, it contributes to thousands of deaths from arms that were illegally smuggled into our country.” Acknowledging that the current approach to drugs, guns and violence is failing on both sides of the border, the caravan will help to grow the movement and engage communities in the United States. As the details surrounding the Caravan solidify, we’ll be sure to keep you informed.
Last but not least, check out the new videos from the Moviemiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad in which well-known actors and artists call on all of us to put ourselves “En los Zapatos del Otro” (in the other person’s shoes). By telling the stories of those whose loved ones have been killed and communities devastated by violence, they call on all of us to come together, organize and get involved. This new media campaign was kicked off at a packed theatre in Mexico City earlier this week. To see one of the campaign’s videos, click here.
As always, thank you so much for your commitment and dedication to peace and justice in Mexico and along the U.S.-Mexico border.