WILPF US has issued a Statement in solidarity with our sisters in the WILPF, Mexico Section, and the people of Mexico, as they stand up demanding answers and an end to the violence and killing resulting from a failed drug war and state corruption. Join one of the 43 protests on Wednesday, December 3, in 43 US cities. Learn more from a video.
We, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, US Section (WILPF US), stand in solidarity with our sisters in the WILPF, Mexico Section, and the people of Mexico, as they stand up demanding answers and an end to the violence and killing resulting from a failed drug war and state corruption.
On September 26, 2014, 43 students from a rural teachers’ college in Ayotzinapa, Mexico, were kidnapped on their way to protest Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s education reforms. The students’ caravan was intercepted by militarized police from Iguala, a town in the state of Guerrero. After resisting, 6 people were killed, 25 wounded and the 43 students have not been heard from since. The mayor of Iguala, José Luis Abarca Velázquez, and his wife, María de los Ángeles Pineda Villa, immediately disappeared as it was discovered that they had ordered police to arrest the students. Information shows that, upset that the students would be protesting an event in which she would be honored and would announce her mayoral campaign, Pineda Villa further ordered that Iguala police turn the 43 students over to a local drug cartel with which she has family ties. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has remained mostly silent on the matter, only agreeing to meet with the parents of the 43 students nearly six weeks after the kidnappings and urging them to stop organizing protests.
On December 1, 2014, the two-year anniversary of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s administration, a national day of protest will be held in Mexico, demanding that the 43 students be returned alive and calling for the resignation of President Enrique Peña Nieto. In solidarity with our sisters in WILPF – Mexico and concerned citizens of Mexico and the 43 students, protests will be held in 43 US cities on December 3, 2014, calling for the US government to end its funding of the Mérida Initiative.
The Merida Initiative is a $3,000,000,000 (3 billion dollar) security agreement between the US, Mexico and Central America with a stated purpose to stop drug trafficking. The agreement states that the US government will provide military aid (through US private defense contractors), torture training and funds for judicial reforms so long as the Mexican government makes advances in human rights protections. The agreement mandates that the US Secretary of State report any human rights violations by the Mexican government to the US Congress for review of funds. Recent funding has gone mainly for more and more military and policing equipment. Meanwhile the violence has only increased, along with an increase in weapons into Mexico from the US and drugs into the US from Mexico. President Peña Nieto has prioritized illegal international investments, damaging economic and educational reforms, and his party’s private interests over the security, safety, and rights of the Mexican people.
For years, the people of Mexico have lived with untold violence and violation of their rights. Finally, the disappearance of the students has enraged a country into action. The facade of reform promoted by President Peña Nieto is being exposed for the lie that it is.
WILPF US members will be taking part in the December 3rd protests and will continue in solidarity with our neighbors across our southern border in Mexico and our sisters in the Mexico Section of WILPF. We demand that the US Congress stop funding the militarization and dangerous reforms that are devastating the people of Mexico and review the human rights violations being undertaken by and through the hands of the Mexican government.
Todos somos Ayotzinapa! Ya me cansé! We are all Ayotzinapa! We are also tired!
Photo: Demonstration in Houston,TX in in front of the Mexican consulate in solidarity with the national protest in Mexico on Nov. 20, 2014. Photo by Melissa Torres.