Estamos hasta la madre — it means, “we’ve had enough.”
Last year, Javier Sicilia experienced a parent’s worst nightmare: his 24-year-old son, Juan Francisco, was murdered in Mexico’s deadly “drug war,” one of 60,000 men, women and children to fall victim to brutal violence in the past six years.
Javier, a well-know poet in Mexico, was devastated by his son’s death, but determined to make a difference. He began to mobilize people in the streets, calling for an end to the bloodshed and giving a voice to Mexicans who’d had enough, fed up with all the killing. Hundreds of thousands joined demonstrations across the country in an unprecedented rejection of the violence, and soon after the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) was born.
Now the movement is bringing their quest for peace to the United States later this summer on a “U.S./Mexico Caravan for Peace.” Javier and other victims of the violence will travel from San Diego to Washington DC, calling on the United States to do its part to stop violence in Mexico. They’re demanding nonviolent solutions: rethink failed drug policies, stop the flow of arms and money south, end U.S. aid to the Mexican military.
This is going to be big! The Caravan for Peace will travel 6,000 miles through 10 U.S. states and visit over 25 U.S. cities and communities, beginning on August 12th in San Diego and arriving in Washington DC, on September 10th. Along the way, victims of the violence will share their stories and demand an end to this failed “war on drugs” that has left a “trail of death, pain, and corruption in its path.” And there is certainly plenty that needs to be done here in the United States to stop the violence.
Here’s what the Caravan is calling for:
• Alternatives to drug prohibition. The United States has the highest number of illegal drug users in the world, which fuels the violent and destructive illegal drug business.
• Stop arms smuggling. The United States has some of the most lax gun control laws in the world and estimates suggest that some 70% of arms recovered in Mexico, and submitted for tracing, come from the United States.
• Crack down money laundering. Banks based in the United States launder millions each year that are the lifeblood and motivation of violent criminal organizations. When big banks are caught they receive fines that amount to a slap on the wrist.
• End U.S. assistance to the Mexican military. The United States gives Mexico’s military millions of dollars to help fight the “drug war,” despite serious and persistent concerns over human rights violations.
• Protect the rights of immigrants. Failed U.S. immigration policy has generated a humanitarian crisis driven by unprecedented levels of deportations and incarceration of migrants. Many of these immigrants have been displaced by the violence and are fleeing to the United States in search of safe haven.
Now, you have a chance to take part in this movement for peace and justice in Mexico. Stand in solidarity with Mexico’s Peace Movement, as victims from both sides of the border come together to share their stories and demand respect for justice and human dignity.
Do you live along the caravan route? GET INVOLVED! Fill out this volunteer form to be a part of a moment in history, which might not come around twice.
To see the Caravan route, click here.
To check out the Caravan’s official website, click here.
Global Exchange is the main “Caravan for Peace” organizer in the United States. Read more about the “Caravan for Peace” on their website, here.
Follow the Caravan for Peace & MPJD on Twitter: