NALACC and “Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity” alliescalled on President Obama to enforce existing ban on military-style assault weapons to stop their illegal sale to drug cartels in Mexico
CHICAGO, IL – The National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities (NALACC) and other civil organizations aboard the Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity dismantled a military-style assault arm and transformed into a peace symbol in Houston, TX today Monday Aug. 27, 2012 to call on President Obama to enforce the existing ban on the importation of military-style assault weapons and other measures to stop the illegal sale of weapons, which have been linked to the deaths of thousands of Mexicans killed in the drug war.
“The highly unregulated weapons market in the United States, including assault weapons, facilitates the arming of criminal organizations at home and abroad, worsening the loss of innocent life in barbaric acts such as the recent shootings in the United States, as well as the killing of innocent victims in the so called war on drugs in Mexico,” stated Oscar Chacon, Executive Director of NALACC.
The Caravan and relatives of the more than 60,000 people killed in drug war in Mexico turned the assault weapon into a peace symbol by burying in cement in Houston’s Mexican historic neighborhood. According to a Washington Post investigation, Texas leads the nation in guns seized in the drug war, and within that state, Houston is the city with the most guns linked to crime scenes in Mexico.
“As people affected by senseless policies in the United States and abroad, which in the case of Mexico has already reached the level of tragedy, people across borders must learn to work together to bring about a new generation of public policies that promote common understanding, justice and peace; and that are centered around the well-being of all human beings,” Chacon said.
Houston is one of the more 20 stop of this broad binational coalition traveling 6,000 miles across the United States raising awareness on the human costs of the war on drugs and the social disasters caused by violence in Mexico and in the United States. The Caravan will culminate on Sept. 12, 2012 on International Day of Action in Washington, D.C.
NALACC, along with other 100 U.S. civil society organizations, is joining forces with Mexico’s Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD), co-led by Mexican poet and activist Javier Sicilia, on the Caravan as a sign of solidarity with Mexicans as well as a way to share its own “Somos”/“We Are” initiative, which mirrors the same goal: to humanize the debate of policies that directly affect the immigrant communities in the United States.
“We’re not here in the United States to contest the Second Amendment. The Caravan for Peace is here because our loved ones have been shot and kidnapped, displaced and murdered with military assault weapons sold in U.S. stores and gun shows,” said Sicilia, whose son, Juan Francisco, was killed last year. “Assault weapons sold by U.S. gun dealers like those here in Houston are responsible for thousands of drug war deaths in Mexico, and in doing so, these gun dealers make a mockery of the Second Amendment. Together, you here in the United States, and we in Mexico, can help end this madness.”
An end to both the militarization of the border and the criminalization of immigrants is one of five solutions proposed by the Caravan in order to stop the violence and its ramifications in Mexico and the United States. The other proposed solutions are: the exploration of alternatives to drug prohibition; a halt to the illegal smuggling of weapons across the border to Mexico; concrete steps to combat money laundering; and the immediate suspension of U.S. assistance to Mexico’s armed forces.
National Alliance of Latin American & Caribbean Communities