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.
Meanwhile, Javier Sicilia, the beloved poet and leader of the movement, has arrived. He greets people with hugs and smiles warmly while meeting members of the Popular Association for Migrant Families. Later on, one member of the MPJD enters the stage to say how proud he has been to walk on all of the Caravans for Peace with these beautiful people. But, he says, his grandchildren have since been kidnapped, he and his wife have been threatened, and his daughter’s rights have all been violated. There will be no silencing this man now.