Friday, November 4, 2011

Dona Nobis Pacem: Peace in Mexico's drug war

When I began blogging for peace in 2007, I never dreamed I'd become involved in a war myself. But since then--five Blog Blasts for Peace later--over 9000 people have been murdered in our sister-city of Jurarez just across the U.S.-Mexico border from my winter home in El Paso. The bloodbath entails unspeakable cruelty and violence: horrifying and chilling.

My volunteer work now includes helping manage a shelter for war refugees. We receive even families with children who've fled their homes--literally running for their lives.

When I return to my native Iowa each spring/summer, sometimes people ask me to tell them about what's happening in Mexico. It's hard to answer. When I describe it as best as I can, people usually ask: How can peace be restored? What can we do? 

But there is no tidy answer. Right now, no one sees an end to this violence, to the shattered lives, the bloodbath of innocents.

In March, renowned Mexican poet Javier Sicilia lost his beloved son, another murdered innocent. "I have no more poetry in me," he lamented. Grieving, he laid his pen aside and instead took to the streets, sparking a national mobilization for peace in Mexico's drug-fueled violence, leading marches and caravans.

"What will you do next?" U.S. reporters asked him in June. Sicilia responded that he was unsure. Like me, he had no road map to offer. No road map to peace.

Instead he recited lines from the Spanish poet Antonio Machado:
"There is no road; the road is made by walking."

So next week I'll travel again to the border. I know I can not make peace happen there. Nevertheless, my journey is not futile. No effort for peace is futile. We simply walk the road of peace, stepping into the darkness without a map. We do it because we believe we can make a road.

We embark on this journey not because peace is the destination, but because peace is every step.

I invite you to accompany me on the journey. Subscribe. Follow. Join Border Explorer. 'Like' Border Explorer on Facebook. Peace! Paz!


Ivanhoe said...

I hear about all the drug cartel related shootings of innocent people and children almost every day. And I'm up in Ohio. Just horrible!
Peace to you today and always :)

Sarge Charlie said...

Peace will be a long time coming in Mexico, this evil is driven by greed, money and no respect for life. I dream of peace in my lifetime

dawn said...

Powerful post. I admire your dedication. Peace to you and yours today :)

fan of Gaia said...

You have left me with sadness and hope. A beautifully written piece.

Travis Cody said...

Peace may be a journey without a paved road, but it certainly has a clear direction. Thank you for the work you do to get us a little further down that road.

Best wishes to you and yours for peace today and in all the days to come.

Karen Jo said...

Very moving post. Peace be with you today and every day. May we all take more steps along that road to peace.

Anndi said...

You are an inspiration... and as long as there are people like you and like Mimi, we have hope.

Peace is every step.

Finding Pam said...

Peace be with you in your journey towards peace.


Joseph de Lange said...

Yes blogging is easier than actual involvement, but both, information and activism, as you show here, are necessary. So thank you for your blogging and for inspiring us to combine action with writing. There is always a prayer here for your safety and well-being.

Mimi Lenox said...

I admire you so much and will continue to pray for a safe journey wherever you are. For the people of Mexico and especially the innocent children, we pray for mercy and miracles.

Thank you is inadequate to say.

Adelle Laudan said...

Thank God for people like you. May peace be with you and yours as you bring a little hope to the hopeless.
It doesn't matter the distance traveled, but the direction you take.
Blessed be...

Annelisa said...

My heart is with you Billie. I feel so far from real troubles, so far from being able to help. You have all of my respect and admiration!! All I can do is send you my wishes for your and and everyone else's safety, hope and (one day) happiness. May you have it all.

I remember when I read your first post, and it opened my eyes to the reality of what others face daily. My hope is that peace will come to you and all the folk in Mexico!!

Best wishes and heartfelt prayers x

[A link to your post will be on my blog 'Peace Bloggers Unite''s getting pride of place!]