The Goal Is Clear: Peace With Justice and Dignity
The one-year anniversary of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity, a grassroots groundswell against the drug war, played out March 28 in a small plaza in the Mexican city of Cuernavaca, just south of Mexico City — absent the cameras and pens of the mainstream media.
By Paulina Gonzalez
"In August and September of this year, we will be joining together with North American, Mexican, and Central American organizations on a U.S. caravan on a route of peace and justice. We will do this because it is important that Central Americans, immigrants, and Mexicans radicalized in the United States, understand that American arms are strengthening the ability of Mexican organized crime to kill. Only through working together can we put an end to this and construct a unity based on our humanity that extends beyond our borders, political ideologies, and differences." These were the words spoken by Javier Sicilia, who moments earlier erected a plaque, weighing 60 kilos, dedicated to the memory of his son, Juanelo, and his six friends who were killed in Cuernavaca a year earlier.
For Spanish click here.
By Paco Gómez
The Loudest Yell, a collective of over 250 artists, has thanked the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) for “showing the way to being a country”. The actor Daniel Giménez Cacho read an announcement by the artist collective at the one year anniversary of MPJD.
For Spanish click here.
By Lela Singh
While children play with paint on small pieces of paper, members of the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) paint larger signs. One reads, “Justice for the assassinations of Bernardo Méndez and Bernardo Vázquez by paramilitaries from the Minera Cuzcatlan.” These leaders were assassinated this month in Oaxaca, where they were fighting the entrance of Minera Cuzcatlan, a Canadian-owned mining company, into their community. As long the deaths of community environmental leaders such as these can be carried out with impunity and blamed on drug trafficking, the violence caused by the war on drugs will be multiply.
Spanish version here.
The main plaza in Cuernavaca is full of activity: speeches, poems, prayers, heartbreaking testimonies and altars of the victims of the Drug War fill the scene. Today’s event commemorates the first year of an organization that fights against death: the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD). Maybe that´s why there are two tiny women that go unseen. Together they breathe a deep sigh. Until they look in each other’s eyes, until they talk, until they tell their stories.
The central plaza in the city of Cuernavaca, Morelos today looks like a typical Mexican square where vendors sell snacks, raspadas and giant balloons. A banner over a shoe-shine booth still advertises the 2010 celebration of ¨100 years of Revolution.¨ But today marks a different anniversary in Mexico: it’s been one year since the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity emerged, demanding to end the violence of the drug war and justice for its victims.
Click for here for the version in Spanish
By Ahlam Said
Walking through Cuernavaca Plaza yesterday was like being caught between a memorial service and a celebration. Pictures of the deceased were everywhere: screen-printed on t-shirts, hanging across stone walls, surrounded by candles near Jesus and Mary statues, and even on balloons in children’s hand. Yet, there couldn’t possibly be enough space in the plaza to display the pictures of over 60,000 who have died and the 20,000 who have disappeared since the Mexico’s president, Felipe Calderón, militarized the drug war in 2006.
Click here for Spanish.
Between the 27th and 28th of March, 2011, the life of Juan Francisco Sicilia Ortega, known as Juanelo ended. He was the son of the journalist and poet Javier Sicilia, whose words after his son's death inspired a national movement to end the violence in Mexico. Today, one year later, his “second family,” the one he played soccer with, rendered a tender homage to him on the soccer field of the American University of Morelos in Cuernavaca. “Let’s do what he loved the most,” urged Luis Añorve, who was probably one of his best friends. And so the ball rolled with joy.
By: The School of Authentic Journalism
This Wednesday March 28th 2012the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) will commemorate 12 months of protests and actions in Cuernavaca, Morelos. This event will seek to remember, with "pain, rage, and love", the dead, disappeared, and victims of the federal government's war against drug trafficking. Victims of the war will make offerings, and participate in indigenous and ecumenical ceremonies, performance art, poetry readings, and testimonials beginning at 11AM and continuing well into the night.
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