Mexican-US Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity 2012
June 19 - Victims of the failed drug war in Mexico, representatives from drug policy reform think tanks, gun violence prevention groups, faith and migrant rights-based organizations and members from peace and justice movements joined forces at two press conferences this week in Mexico City to announce a Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity that will traverse 5600 miles across the United States and visit 27 cities from August 12 to September 12.
Challenging the Role of US Guns in the Drug War
More than 60,000 people have been killed in the violence in Mexico since President Felipe Calderon deployed some 50,000 troops and federal police five years ago to confront the drug cartels. Much of this militarization has been bankrolled by the US government, which has poured over $1.6 billion into this “war on drugs,” especially in the form of US military equipment and training. At the same time, criminal organizations in Mexico obtain high-powered military arms from the United States - 70% of guns recovered at Mexican crime scenes and traced to vendors in the last four years were sold by private US gun dealers.
These legal and illegal flows of guns have failed to curtail the flow of drugs, and have caused the loss of thousands of innocent Mexican lives. The death toll in Ciudad Juarez alone, a focus of state forces for the drug war as well as of illegal gun smuggling, is more than 10,000 people. The caravan will highlight US responsibility for gun smuggling, as well as for the harms of drug prohibition, militarization of foreign policy, money laundering, and human rights of migrants.
A Response from Below
Poet and activist Javier SiciliaLast year, following the death of Juan Francisco Sicilia (son of Mexican poet, Javier Sicilia), the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity led Caravans of Consolation to the North and South of Mexico, meeting with victims of the US-backed drug war, and led a 200,000 person march into Mexico City. This summer, starting August 12, the Peace Caravan, led by victims of Mexico’s US-backed drug war, will travel by vehicle across the United States, traversing the border, Southeast, Chicago, and New York, meeting with civil society and arriving in Washington, DC, on September 10.
FOR is excited to support this important initiative, and we enthusiastically echo the call to mobilize from our partners at Global Exchange and many other organizations.
The stated goals of the Peace Caravan are “to promote dialogue with American civil society and its government regarding the following themes: the need to stop gun trafficking; the need to debate alternatives to drug prohibition; the need for better tools to combat money laundering; and the need to promote bilateral cooperation in human rights and human security in two priority areas: promotion of civil society and safety, as well as protection and safety for migrants.”
How You Can Participate
Or help Mexican and FOR activists participate with your financial support. Donate here.
The Caravan needs support along the route, especially with lodging, food, and organizing events. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how you can help! You can also directly sign up to volunteer with the caravan by using this registration form.
Visit http://www.globalexchange.org/mexico/caravan for more information on the August 12-September 12 caravan, and check out the Mexican Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity’s website in Spanish.
Watch the interview on Democracy Now! with Javier Sicilia.
Fellowship of Reconciliation encourages all demilitarization activists to join the Caravan along the various stops. The Peace Caravan is a great way to connect with our Mexican colleagues, and join with communities across the country to end the drug war and take the guns out of US-Mexican relations.
Demilitarize Life and Land - End the Drug War!
Route: August 12 - September 12
San Diego, CA - Aug 12 SUN
Los Angeles, CA - Aug 13- Aug 14 MON/TUES
Phoenix, AZ - Aug 15 WED
Tucson, AZ - Aug 16 THURS
Las Cruces, NM - Aug 17 FRI
Albuquerque/Santa Fe, NM - Aug 18 SAT
Santa Fe, NM - Aug 19 SUN
Rest Day, Santa Fe, NM Aug 20 MON
El Paso, TX - Aug 21 TUES
Laredo, TX- Aug 22, WED
Harlingen/Brownsville, TX - Aug 23 THURS
McAllen/San Antonio, TX - Aug 24 FRI
Austin, TX - Aug 25 SAT
Houston, TX - Aug 26 SUN
New Orleans, LA - Aug 27 MON
Jackson, MS Rest Day – Aug 28 TUES
Montgomery, AL – Aug 29 WED
Atlanta/Ft Benning, GA – Aug 30 - 31 THURS/FRI
Charlotte, NC – Sept 1 SAT
Travel Night to Chicago, IL & Rest Day – Sept 2 SUN
Chicago, IL – Sep 3-4 MON/TUES
Cleveland, OH -Sept 5 WED
New York, NY – Sept 6-7 THURS/FRI
Baltimore, MD - Sept 8-9 SAT/ SUN
Washington, D.C.- Sept 10-12 MON-WED - FINAL CITY
For more information, or to let us know what actions you will do in support of the caravan in your communities, please contact John at email@example.com or 510-282-8983 or Ted Lewis at Global Exchange at Ted@globalexchange.org or 415.575.5533.