As the number of innocent people who continue to die in Mexico because of the failed war on drugs rises to 71,000 , the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) has announced that it will lead a month-long “Caravan for Peace” across the United States to draw attention to the misguided drug war policies that have caused a crisis of violence and impunity.
June 27, 2012 | Published in Global Exchange
Javier Sicilia and Mexico’s Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity will lead a caravan across the United States this summer, calling for an end to the drug war.
The Caravan — led by victims of Mexico’s drug war who have transformed their losses into moral, courageous, and compassionate action — will be joined by drug war victims north of the border who also seek peace and an end to the absurd and tragic consequences of drug prohibition.
Javier Sicilia, the poet whose son and a group of friends were smothered to death last year, has played a crucial role in building the movement for peace. He has engaged the media and state institutions while leading major caravans to both the north and south of Mexico—visiting and bringing light in Mexico’s most damaged cities and regions.
Sicilia and other movement leaders see a caravan against the drug war that underscores the role of the United States, as logical extension of the movement’s work in Mexico. Drug war ideology was born in the United States — putting an end to it must start here too.
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US Peace Caravan Route — August 12 – September 12
San Diego, CA – Sunday, Aug 12
Los Angeles, CA – Monday – Tuesday, Aug 13 – Aug 14
Phoenix, AZ – Wednesday, Aug 15
Tucson, AZ – Thursday, Aug 16
Las Cruces, NM – Friday, Aug 17
Albuquerque/Santa Fe, NM – Saturday, Aug 18
Santa Fe, NM – Sunday, Aug 19
Rest Day, Santa Fe, NM – Monday, Aug 20
El Paso, TX – Tuesday, Aug 21
Laredo, TX – Wednesday, Aug 22
Harlingen/Brownsville, TX – Thursday, Aug 23
McAllen/San Antonio, TX – Friday, Aug 24
Austin, TX – Saturday, Aug 25
Houston, TX – Sunday, Aug 26
New Orleans, LA – Monday, Aug 27
Jackson, MS Rest Day – Tuesday, Aug 28
Montgomery, AL – Wednesday,Aug 29
Atlanta/Ft Benning, GA – Thursday – Friday, Aug 30 – 31
Charlotte, NC – Saturday, Sept 1
Travel Night to Chicago, IL & Rest Day – Sunday, Sept 2
Chicago, IL – Monday – Tuesday, Sep 3-4
Cleveland, OH – Wednesday, Sept 5
New York, NY – Thursday – Friday, Sept 6-7
Baltimore, MD – Saturday – Sunday, Sept 8-9
Washington, D.C. – Monday – Wednesday, Sept 10-12
Live along the route, and want to get involved? Let us know by filling out this volunteer form or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or
A broad coalition of groups is growing daily, dedicated to changing our national debate on the Drug War. The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity and Global Exchange are proud to partner with the following groups for the US Caravan for Peace:
- Border Angels
- CIP-Americas Program
- Drug Policy Alliance (DPA)
- National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC)
- Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
- Latin America Working Group (LAWG)
- Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP)
- Moms United
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
- School of Americas Watch
- Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)
- Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
- Veterans for Peace
As the number of innocent people who continue to die in Mexico because of the failed war on drugs rises to 71,000 , the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (MPJD) has announced that it will lead a month-long “Caravan for Peace” across the United States to draw attention to the misguided drug war policies that have caused a crisis of violence and impunity. The MPJD and dozens of organizations from both countries are joining together to coordinate the Caravan, a more than 6,000-mile journey, leaving San Diego, CA, on August 12th and arriving in Washington, D.C., on September 10th.
Led by victims of the drug war on both sides of the border, the Caravan aims to inspire U.S. civil society to stem the flow of weapons into Mexico, to support humane and health-oriented alternatives to drug prohibition, and to demand more effective, non-violent security strategies. Bi-national respect for justice and human dignity lies at the heart of this initiative, making humane immigration policy another central concern of the Caravan.
Sicilia rose to prominence as a leader in the movement to end the drug war after his son was killed in prohibition-related violence last year. Because of his courage and leadership, Javier Sicilia was named one of Time Magazine’s 2012 “Person of the Year” activists – in its segment called “Why I protest”.
The goal of #CaravanaUSA is to engage in active citizen diplomacy to stop the U.S.-led paradigm of the war on drugs, and to start a healing process from the “National Emergency” that has devastated large areas of Mexico, as well as historically vulnerable communities in the U.S. Since 2006, Mexico has experienced unprecedented pain: more than 71,000 people have been killed and more than 10,000 have disappeared as a result of prohibition-related violence.
The militarization of drug policy has increased corruption and impunity, leading to more deaths and disappearances that have torn the fabric of Mexican society.
The Caravan seeks to expose these root causes of violence in Mexico, to raise awareness about the effects of the drug war on communities in the U.S.—especially people of color, immigrants, young people and the poor and working class—and to demand new policies that will foster peace, justice and human dignity on both sides of the border.
Last year, the MPJD undertook similar Caravans across Mexico to collect stories of the destruction caused by the failed war against drugs and organized crime.
The first Caravan of more than 500 people left Cuernavaca, Morelos and traveled north through 15 cities to arrive at the epicenter of violence in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua.
The second Caravan left Mexico City, traveling south through 21 cities with more than 700 people.
Through the Caravans, victims have expressed in their own voice the disastrous consequences of the war on drugs.
The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity has also carried out historic meetings with the President of Mexico and the National Congress, demanding that the voices of the victims be heard in what became known as the Chapultepec Dialogues for Peace. MPJD has placed the issue of justice for victims on the national electoral agenda through the latest of the #DialogosxLaPaz by making presidential candidates publicly address the concerns of family members.