- Caravan for Peace With Justice and Dignity Supported by, San Diego Caravan for Peace Coalition
- “Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity” Begins in San Diego on August 12, 2012 at Historical Friendship Park (12:00 noon,) to Call for end to Drug War that has killed 70,000 in Mexico.
- Javier Sicilia and other Victims from Mexico and United States Making 6,000- mile Journey through more than 20 Cities, Culminating in International Day of Action in Washington D.C. on September 12, 2012.
- San Diego Caravan for Peace Coalition partners to Organize events at Friendship Park, USD, and a Rally & Vigil at Chicano Park to Remember Lives Lost to Failed Policies on Drugs, Arms Trafficking, Money Laundering, and Immigration.
(San Diego) – On 8/12/12, the ―Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity will launch in San Diego to begin its voyage across the United States as it works to create a bi-national movement against the failed drug war that has left more than 70,000 dead in Mexico in the last five years.
Led by Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, families of victims from Mexico will tell the story of the human toll of the war on drugs, while building powerful ties with local communities in the United States that are also deeply impacted by the failed drug war—the longest and deadliest war in U.S. history.
The goal of the Caravan for Peace is to engage in citizen diplomacy to put an end to the war on drugs and other policies to help start a healing process from the national emergency that has devastated Mexico.
The Caravan will trek over 6,000 miles through more than 20 cities and communities in ten states—including Los Angeles, Santa Fe, El Paso, Houston, Montgomery, New Orleans, Chicago and New York—before arriving in Washington, D.C., on September 10. At each stop, the Caravan will be welcomed by local communities, who have planned rallies, marches, candlelight vigils, forums, performance art and more. The Caravan will officially conclude on September 12 by calling for an International Day of Action for Peace in Mexico. You can learn more at: http://www.caravanforpeace.org.
Angeles de la Frontera/Border Angels, A New Path, Bread and Salt, Chicano Park Steering Committee, Global Exchange, Piqe, USD and dozens of other organization across San Diego and California are supporting the Caravan by holding a series of events to commemorate victims of failed policies in both countries. Activities will begin 12:00 noon in San Diego at Friendship Park with a Welcome Ceremony with Aztec dancers, press conference (12:15pm), testimonials, and more (email@example.com). At 3pm there will be a mass at the University of San Diego’s Founders Chapel followed by a presentation from the Transborder Institute, with a report on the murders and violence of the drug war in Mexico (firstname.lastname@example.org). At 7:00pm, a rally and candlelight vigil will be held at Chicano Park that focuses on the failed war on drugs, (email@example.com) with testimonials from mothers from San Diego and from Mexico, speakers, and the music of Misa Azteca, performed by the Southwestern Community College Concert Choir.
―Human rights, like peace, has no borders. The San Diego / Tijuana border is ground zero for many Caravan for peace issues‖, says Enrique Morones, lead organizer of the events in San Diego. Gretchen Burns Bergman, who is organizing the evening event in Chicano park said, ―Mothers from both sides of the border will come together to tell their stories and share their outrage and tears, in an effort to end these senseless tragedies.‖
Javier Sicilia emerged as a leader of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) after his son Juan Francisco was killed in senseless prohibition-related violence last year. Since then, the MPJD has undertaken similar caravans across Mexico to collect stories of the destruction caused by the war against drugs and organized crime. Through these caravans, victims have expressed in their own voices the drug war’s disastrous consequences.
―Our purpose is to honor our victims, to make their names and faces visible,‖ Sicilia said. ―We will travel across the United States to raise awareness of the unbearable pain and loss caused by the drug war – and of the enormous shared responsibility for protecting families and communities in both our countries.‖
Since 2006, Mexico has experienced unprecedented pain: more than 70,000 people have been killed and more than 10,000 have disappeared in violence resulting largely from the failure of drug prohibition. The drug war has produced painful consequences in the United States as well, especially the mass incarceration of non-violent people – overwhelming people of color.
Bringing together victims of the drug war from both countries, the Caravan aims to expose the root causes of violence in Mexico, to raise awareness about the effects of the drug war on communities in the U.S., and to inspire U.S. civil society to demand new policies that will foster peace, justice and human dignity on both sides of the border.
More specifically, the Caravan calls for:
The exploration of alternatives to drug prohibition, including diverse forms of drug regulation and decriminalization;
a halt to the illegal smuggling of weapons across the border to Mexico, which can be achieved without infringing on U.S. constitutional rights;
concrete steps to combat money laundering, including holding financial institutions accountable;
the immediate suspension of U.S. assistance to Mexico’s armed forces, and a reorientation of U.S. aid to Mexico in a manner that prioritizes human security; and
an end to the militarization of the border and the criminalization of immigrants, and the adoption of policies that protect the dignity of every human being.
Nearly 100 U.S. organizations are a part of the Caravan initiative, including national partners, the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), National Latino Congress, Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), Latin America Working Group (LAWG), Border Angels / Angeles de la Frontera, CIP-Americas Program, Presente.org, Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), Veterans for Peace, Witness for Peace, L.A. Community Legal Center, Hermandad Mexicana Transnacional, School of the Americas Watch, and Global Exchange.
Alzo, participating are: Alianza Cívica, Sin Fronteras, INEDIM, Fuerzas Unidas por los Desaparecidos en México, Asociación Popular de Familiares de Migrantes (APOFAM), FUNDEM; Red por los Derechos de la Infancia, CuPIDH, Espolea, Reverdecer, Iniciativa Ciudadana para la Promoción de la cultura de Diálogo, Pastoral de Movilidad Humana, Alarbo, Servicios para la Paz, Serapaz; and Centro Nacional de Comunicación Social (Cencos), and many more.
For Immediate Release: Enrique Morones, Local Organizer (Border Angels)
August 8, 2012 619-269-7865 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity: www.movimientoporlapaz.mx Facebook: facebook.com/caravan4Peace
Twitter: @CaravanaUSA (twitter.com/caravanaUSA)