|Image credit: Caravan for Peace|
El Paso activists have arranged a full schedule for the caravan visitors during their El Paso stop while on a national tour taking them across the U.S..
The group will gather on August 21 for a City Council meeting at 9 am. They will present an arms trafficking Code of Conduct, a resolution that will increase transparency and accountability for arms sales in El Paso.
At 7 pm the group will reconvene at San Jacinto Plaza (111 E Mills Ave) to sign the Arms Trafficking Code of Conduct. From there, they plan to march to Annunciation House (1003 San Antonio). The exterior of the building, a shelter for those fleeing drug violence and seeking asylum in the U.S., will be completely lighted by the projection of names of victims of the violence in Mexico.
Javier Sicilia, who can rightly claim to be the poet laureate of Mexico, is prominently at the leadership of the caravan of survivors of the Mexico drug war violence. The murder of Sicilia’s son, Juan Francisco, propelled him into the international spotlight as an activist for peace as he became an icon of the suffering of thousands of Mexican nationals. Sicilia vowed to stop writing poetry until justice is achieved, not only for his son, but also for the nameless and faceless victims of violence in his native country.
Mexico has suffered 60,000 deaths, 10,000 disappearances and 160,000 internal refugees in the last six years. The caravan counts this as the true cost of the War on Drugs. With a 98% rate of impunity, Mexicans struggle to seek even common justice.
El Paso acrivists anticipate a rich encounter on the border between caravan participants and the El Paso community. Sicilia has called on local residents to echo the caravan's call for justice with peace and dignity as a “counterpart in an exercise of civilian diplomacy that can return peace, justice and dignity to the victims of this war." Sicila continued: "We hope we will be able to count on your valuable participation as an ally and partner in this historic event.”