Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blog Blast for Peace: Sailing on troubled border waters

Once again I blog for peace while I prepare for war.

Next week I return for the fifth time to volunteer on the U.S.-Mexico border of El Paso/Juarez, the epicenter of the Mexican drug war holocaust.  "Drug cartel war"--an inaccurate term: the vast majority of almost 30,000 Mexicans killed in the last four years are not members of any drug cartel. They are innocent bystanders, civilian victims of the insatiable U.S. demand for prohibited drugs. They are killed by weaponry manufactured in the U.S. and sold to their country for U.S. profit.

Our border community simply happens to lie in two nations.
The victims of war are my friends--and their relatives and friends.

In the sidebar of my blog, artist Beatriz Aurora's Zapatista madonna and child have sailed "Towards a New Dawn" since the founding of Border Explorer. She crosses borders with me...through troubled waters, standing strong, steady and straight, onward toward hope for herself and her child.

Today she's the Silver Girl, sailing on my peace globe, serene and resolute in unchartered cosmic territory.

The work for peace continues. Resolute. 
Amid the headlines and images of horror from our war zone.

[Click for background music: Eva Cassidy, "Bridge Over Troubled Waters"]

When you're weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all

Two Mexican federal police officers allegedly opened fire on protesting university students in Ciudad Juárez, seriously wounding 19 year old José Dario Álvarez Orrantia. Álvarez was shot in the back while he and other students tried to escape arrest during a march to protest the heavy police presence in the city.

I'm on your side When times get rough

And friends just can't be found

Mystery surrounds the October 25 mass murder of 14 people, many of them teenagers from a Catholic dance group, at a house party. 
Families and friends cried in anger and desperation at a crowded funeral.  

Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down
Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down

 Mexico is in a situation of permanent chaos with a culture of violence and impunity taking root in which the press has become a favourite target, says Reporters Without Borders. They designated Mexico as one of "ten countries where it is not good to be a journalist."

When you're down and out When you're on the street
When evening falls so hard I will comfort you

 Juarez saw a total of 352 homicides in the month of October, 
making it by far the most violent month in the history of the city.

I'll take your part When darkness comes And pain is all around

The military occupied Juarez, replacing police from March 2008 to April 2010, when Federal Police took over policing duties from the soldiers. 
Despite the drastic measures, violence has only increased in Ciudad Juarez. 
The city now has the distinction of being the deadliest city in the world.

Like a bridge over troubled water I will lay me down

Sail on silver girl Sail on by Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way See how they shine
When you need a friend I'm sailing right behind

Like a bridge over troubled water I will ease your mind

Bridge Over Troubled Water, Paul Simon, 1969

I will not bring peace to Juarez. 
But I will bring myself to El Paso/Juarez, and I will continue to work for peace.

Thank you for writing for peace. Continue to work for peace. 
Elect peace. Live peace. What we choose can create war or can fabricate peace.

To participate in the BlogBlast for Peace, today--November 4--post "Dona nobis pacem. Grant us peace" as your Facebook status. Tweet it. Above all else: Blog for peace today. Register your blog's participation by signing the Mr. Linky below so we're sure to read your post:


Liberality said...

I love that song. I hate the violence and the hypocrisy that surrounds our policies concerning Mexico. Thank you for shining your light.

Jamie said...

The whole idea that it is somehow all the fault of the Mexican people that this violence goes on is so loaded with prejudice. If there weren't a market, the drug cartels couldn't exist. Stay safe.

Julia Smith said...

Beautiful art work on your Peace Globe, Border Explorer. And a heartfelt post about a subject that is often the butt of comedy routines instead of receiving any true compassion.

I wish you and all of those innocent bystanders Peace. I wish your border could be as peaceful as the one I enjoy between Canada and the US.

Anndi said...

May Peace follow you on your journey, may it continue to be your journey...

Calm waters!

goodnightgram said...

Hello! I'm peace post blog-hopping today and I must tell you how impressed I am with your post. I wish you and Silver Girl safety. thanks for sharing your side of the story.

Dawn (Twisted Sister) said...

Thank you for sharing this story. I wish you safety and peace ☮

matthew said...


You are amazing. How thrilled we are that you are heading back to the Borderland!

We need you. We need your voice, your presence , your beautiful contribution.

So looking forward to breaking bread with you and the crew.

Annelisa said...

It saddens me so many innocent (many young) people die like this...such wasted lives, so sad for their loved ones left behind not understanding 'why?'.

I feel for you all, and hope that peace won't take too long to reach you.

Julie said...

Perfect! Just perfect!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Thank you for telling this very important story, that many do not know about. Bless you for working there and trying to help - and for being a voice for the voiceless. You are truly working for peace in what you do, and in what you have written here. So many suffering!

♥♥ Willa ♥♥ said...

I love your PEACE globe and also the music background. I bet it breaks your heart blogging for PEACE while you are heading out to war. God Bless your heart.

Grant Us PEACE

Ferd said...

Being of Mexican descent, I deeply relate to your post, and am awed by your dedication.
I loved the cool Madonna and Child!

Peace to you and yours, my new eFriend!

Beth/Lilás said...

Peace! Paz!

Rosidah Abidin said...

Bless your golden heart. Dona Nobis Pacem. My prayers and good thoughts go out to the people of Juarez.

Giggles said...

My heart pounds and I read. This song was my wedding song...sadly it fits this post so well. Blessing for your courage. May peace be with you!
I hear your passion in this post...take care!

Hugs Giggles

Walk in the Woods said...

Yes, stay safe and be well. Carry peace in your heart and share it wherever you are able.


Sue St Clair said...

Excellent and enlightening post. Thank you. Peace.

Carol said...


This is BEAUTIFUL! Thank you!

I didn't participate in the Blog Blast for Peace this year. Couldn't add one more thing to my plate. I'm so glad I finally thought to come here and visit your post.

You DO bring yourself - the most important thing to do. Thank you, thank you!

Travis Cody said...

This is powerful.

"I will not bring peace to Juarez. But I will bring myself to El Paso/Juarez, and I will continue to work for peace."

It could be said that there is futility in your words. But I see dedication and persistence. It is a difficult road you travel, and I respect you for every step.

Best wishes for your inner peace.

Michelle said...

That hurt to read. Beautifully expressed and one of my favourite art works/Globes for this year. I love it.

Peace Blessings to you.

PS I chuckled at your profile info. I started blogging (sharing a friend's blog) with a post saying I belonged nowhere. It's kind of a nice place actually. You meet such interesting people there. ;-)

Annelisa said...

Your peace post is now linked in my blog: Peace Bloggers Unite

Mimi Lenox said...

"I will not bring peace to Juarez.
But I will bring myself to El Paso/Juarez, and I will continue to work for peace."

And that is why I consider you to be among the most excellent of the peacemakers of the world, as one who will step out of her world of words and plant a foot in a kingdom of great darkness, straddling between them even, all the while shining light on the atrocities for us to see as well, through your eyes...and through Silver Girl's. She will go with you as will our prayers for safety and wisdom.
God bless you, Billie, in all that you do and may He keep you in the palm of His hand.
I am honored to call you my friend.

Mimi Lenox said...

P.S. Eva is one of my favorites.