Connect to share and comment
The "Caravan for Peace" arrived in New York City, marching to protest the failed war against drugs.
NEW YORK CITY, New York — The Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity arrived in New York City on Thursday night, marching to protest the failed war against drugs.
Many of those marching have lost loved ones to the violence, according to The New York Daily News. The group behind the march is the Mexican Movement for Peace with Justice & Dignity, led by Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, who lost his son to prohibition-related violence.
"Language is not enough any more to express the depth of my pain," he said.
"Our purpose is to honor our victims, to make their names and faces visible," said Sicilia, in a press release before the project began. "We will travel across the United States to raise awareness of the unbearable pain and loss caused by the drug war – and of the enormous shared responsibility for protecting families and communities in both our countries."
The group began its march on August 12 in San Diego, and by its end on September 12, it will have covered 5,000 miles and 25 cities including Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Houston, New Orleans, Chicago, New York and Washington, DC.
More on GlobalPost: Mexico President Felipe Calderon defends war against drug cartels
The caravan was joined by several New York-based organizations, including the Drug Policy Alliance, YoSoy132NY, CUNY Institute of Mexican Studies, Occupy Wall Street and others, according to The Huffington Post.
"An estimated 70,000 people in Mexico have been murdered or disappeared after outgoing President Felipe Calderon ramped up law enforcement efforts six years ago," reported The Chicago Tribune. According to the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the US is the source of nearly 70 percent of guns recovered by Mexican authorities in the past three years.
Daniel Robelo, a research coordinator for Drug Policy Alliance who is traveling with the caravan, said legalizing drugs would decrease murders connected to organized crime, even if drug consumption rose. "The way things are puts power in the hands of criminals who use violence," he said, according to The Tribune.
Sicilia led a similar caravan across Mexico last year and met with Mexican President Felipe Calderon who expressed sympathy but refused to change his policies, The Daily News noted.
More on GlobalPost: Mexico drug war: More than 40 people killed in weekend violence