Saturday, January 29, 2011
Bi-national demonstration for peace in the "War on Drugs" drew 100's in El Paso/Juarez
Two nations literally chanted one common cry for peace with justice as citizens from El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua converged on the border fence that separated their nations at a demonstration for peace Saturday afternoon.
The unfunded, low-budget grassroots effort, organized by ordinary citizens who call themselves “Peace and Justice without Borders” (Paz y Justicia sin Fronteras), was publicized simply by word of mouth and social media. But hundreds gathered nevertheless on both sides of the border.
Together the groups, separated by a chain link fence, proclaimed “el pueblo unido hamas sera vencido/the people united will never be defeated” as they denounced the violence that curses Mexico. That violence is exponentially bloodier in Juarez who counts a murder toll of over 7,500 since 2007.
The historical bi-national rally denounced the injustice that lies behind the unprecedented violence. Violence is but one result of increased border militarization, affecting both nations. In Ciudad Juárez, however, the effects are particularly dramatic: tragic loss of human life, massive population displacement, and violation of human rights. The U.S. citizens noted the unmet need for immigration reform and for granting political asylum to residents fleeing border violence, and the futility of the “war on drugs” which fuels organized crime.
The rally called upon both the U.S. and Mexican governments to take responsibility in alleviating the unparalleled wave of violence. It was one more in a series of grassroots rallies and demonstrations for peace seen in Juarez as violence escalates.