In the Washington Times, “Caravan for Peace crosses U.S. to highlight the failed War on Drugs“, excerpt:
This August in conjunction with the Mexican Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, a high profile Caravan of Peace is crossing the U.S., starting in San Diego/Los Angeles area, heading east along the U.S.-Mexico border and then swinging north to Chicago, and cross to Cleveland, New York, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. to heighten the awareness of the failed “War on Drugs.”
The 6,000-mile journey through 20 cities is to honor lives lost due to the failed prohibition policies, culminating in an international day of action in Washington, D.C.
These days it is almost impossible to listen to the national news without reading about the rapidly escalating drug-related violence in Mexico, most particularly the areas of Mexico that share a common border with the United States.
The deadly mayhem and the greed that fuels it recognizes no borders, often making the American side of these drug war zones just an extension of their battlefield. Both sides of the border are tired of law enforcement’s failed efforts to put an end to the bloodshed and the breakdown of society in general.
So weary in fact, that renowned Mexican poet Javier Sicilia has become the primary spokesperson for the Mexican Movement for Peace with Justice & Dignity (MPJD). Also joining MPJD on the Caravan of Peace will be a broad bi-national coalition of 100 organizations.U.S.-based organizations and foundations including the Latin American Working Group, Washington Office on Latin America, The RFK Center, regional leaders of the Brady Campaign, Heeding God’s Call, Presente.org, LCLAA, NALAAC, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), Fellowship of Reconciliation, Veterans for Peace, Institute for Policy Studies, Drug Policy Alliance, and many others, who realize a new approach is required.
To illustrate the gravity of the problem, Sicilia points out that more than 60,000 people have been killed in drug violence in Mexico in the last few years. More than 10,000 people have been disappeared and over 160,000 displaced.
“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.”
Link via Law Enforcement Against Prohibition executive director Neill Franklin, who adds:
Traveling with the Caravan for Peace, meeting poet Javier Sicilia and fellowshipping with the many families who have lost love ones at the hands of the cartel has been one of the most rewarding moments in my life. The courage exemplified by my Mexican brothers and sisters is extraordinary. Traveling into a foreign land with threats upon their lives, placing their safety into the hands of complete strangers, all in an effort of asking the US federal government for help in changing policies responsible for the carnage in their country takes faith – a lot of faith. I certainly hope they listen to the voice of reason. I pray they have hearts of compassion.