Don Bauder 6:30 p.m., Jan. 20
Cross Country Caravan Calls For Drug War Reset
This Sunday, a coalition of activist and social justice groups will begin what it calls a “Caravan for Peace With Justice and Dignity,” according to the website NeglectedWar.com.
Beginning at the San Diego/Tijuana border, the group will spend a month crossing the country led by Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, calling for an end to the United States’ War on Drugs, which caravan members blame for over 60,000 Mexican deaths and the imprisonment of 500,000 Americans for nonviolent drug offenses.
“Our purpose is to honor our victims, to make their names and faces visible,” says Sicilia, whose son Juan Francisco was killed in Drug War-related violence last year.
Groups joining the movement include the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Global Exchange, the Drug Policy Alliance, and the Mexican Movement for Peace with Justice & Dignity, though the Caravan says it has the backing of over 100 organizations.
Caravan members are calling for a re-examination of drug policy in both Mexico and the U.S., including exploration of drug decriminalization and treating addiction as a disease rather than a criminal act, a crackdown on arms smuggling from the U.S. to Mexico, and suspending U.S. assistance to the Mexican military.
The Caravan will cover 6,000 miles after departing San Diego, criss-crossing the country until arriving in Washington, D.C. on September 10. On September 12, they hope to organize an “International Day of Action for Peace in Mexico” before disbanding.
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