Monday, June 13, 2011

Caravan for Peace Arrives in Ciudad Juarez

JUNE 6-12, 2011

"The Caravan for Peace and Justice with Dignity, led by poet and journalist Javier Sicilia whose son died in March at the hands of organized crime, arrived in Ciudad Juarez on Friday. The Caravan began in the central Mexican state of Morelos and travelled 1800 miles before reaching Ciudad Juarez. Subcomandante Marcos sent a letter supporting the caravan on Tuesday. Also earlier in the week, police arrested at least 50 local youths associated with the caravan and trashed a human rights office, but thousands greeted the caravan in this besieged city in spite of the official repression. In an event in El Paso, Texas on Saturday Sicilia invited US organizations to join the protest, calling for preventing easy access to weapons and massive drug consumption north of the border, and stopping violence and political corruption in Mexico. Sicilia also called for an end to the Merida Initiative which channels US$1.4 billion to Mexican security forces. Nearly 500 people signed a pact calling on the Calderon administration to remove military forces from the "war on drugs" and focus law enforcement efforts on money laundering. The Mexico Solidarity Network joins the Caravan and calls for strict controls on international capital and higher corporate taxes for increased social services. Neither Mexico nor the US can continue to live in a capitalist society that places profits above people and creates the conditions for drug abuse and illegal cartel activities."

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