May 3, 2011

MexicoBlog Editorial: Supporting This Week's ¡Ya Basta! March in Mexico

Mexican citizens are increasingly rising up to protest the "war on drugs" that has claimed nearly 40,000 lives and is undermining both Mexican society and its nascent democracy. They are saying, ¡Ya Basta de Sangre! Enough Bloodshed Already! U.S. citizens ought to show their support.

Javier Siciliathe Mexican poet whose son was murdered in March, has joined with leaders of other civic society organizations in calling for a silent march that will begin May 5 and finish May 8 at the zócalo, the main plaza, in Mexico City. Marchers from Sicilia's city of Cuernavaca will be joined by contingents from Ciudad Juárez, the state of Mexico, Mexico City, Guerrero, Puebla and Tlaxcala. At the moment there are 38 mobilizations set to take place in different cities throughout the country.

This past week, from April 28-29, a group calling themselves Youth in the National Emergency met in Cuernavaca, and issued a Declaration calling for a stop to "the national disaster" of Mexico's militarized drug war and announcing a plan of action, including follow-up steps to the march. These steps center on forming a national organization, Peace with Justice and Dignity, with the following goals:
  1. Immediate Demilitarization of the drug war, with the withdrawal of the Mexican army from the countryside.
  2. End the Violence and Impunity through building community action and opposition to any reform that violates human rights, such as the reform of the National Security Law (This is a proposed law that would give the Mexican president sole power to declare groups - including those advocating political changes - to be national security risks against which the army could be used. Congress adjourned this week without taking action on the law, but may reconvene in special session to re-consider it.) 
  3. Decriminalization of drug consumption by revoking laws that define it as a criminal. Drug legalization hinges on prevention, education and information and a debate about consumption of all drugs.
  4. Creating Lives of Dignity by addressing poverty and unemployment and opposing labor laws that restrict the right to organize and violate the right to dignified and fairly paid work.
  5. Providing Art and Culture for All by using art as a tool of struggle, protest and consciousness raising  to integrate unorganized people into active social participation, defense of their autonomy and self-rule. Opposing mass media's control of culture. 
  6. Creating an Education Plan  that serves as a tool for human liberation and emancipation and that serves to develop the abilities and creativity of everyone.Guaranteeing access to public education at all levels, including the college level. What is needed is an education model that empowers, raises consciousness and transforms reality through reflection and action, thus reviving the principle of a free and secular education for all.
To further their goal of creating the organization, Peace with Justice and Dignity, and plan demonstrations and, community organizing efforts, the group called for a series of meetings: in Mexico City on May 9, in Ciudad Juarez and again in Mexico City on September 1. 

The so-called "Mexican Drug War" that is destroying Mexican society is rooted in U.S. drug consumption and prohibition laws that create the illegal drug market. Thus, this mobilization by Mexican youth calls for the support of U.S. citizens. We can do so by petitioning Congress to move towards the legalization of currently illegal drugs.  ¡Ya Basta de Sangre! Enough Bloodshed Already!

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