Fed up with the spiraling collateral damage of the drug war and sparked by the torture and murder near Cuernavaca of several young people, including the 24-year-old son of Javier Sicilia, poet, columnist and nonviolence activist, Mexican civil society groups are coordinating nationwide actions May 5 to 8, including a march from Cuernavaca to Mexico City. The theme for the May 5-8 actions is “Estamos hasta la madre. Alto a la guerra. Por un México justo y en paz,” or “Fed up! Stop the war! For a just and peaceful Mexico.”
These actions build on those of April 6, when 25,000 people marched for peace in Cuernavaca – the largest in the history of Morelos (the state where Cuernavaca is located); similar actions took place elsewhere in Mexico and at Mexican embassies abroad.
Pietro Ameglio, a prominent Gandhian nonviolence educator/activist and close collaborator of Javier Sicilia, will be in the Bay Area May 14 to 20, speaking about the current crisis in Mexico and the emerging nonviolent resistance.
Over the past four years, the drug violence in Mexico has claimed the lives of close to 40,000 people. In January 2011, Pietro played a key role in a public demonstration and fast in Juarez, the most violent city in Mexico. He wrote:
“In the two days following our original gathering in Juarez, six women were murdered, two of them in Juarez itself; there were kidnappings, disappearances, massacres. All of which raises the question: If our gathering and a public fast didn’t halt the violence, what good were they?
“But it was never suggested that this action was going to stop the barbarity. Rather it was intended to contribute to creating better conditions for listening, for coming together and for community action; to increasing the ties of national and international solidarity; to developing the next stages of our broad-based and peaceful struggle; and to shouting out in a very public way ‘Enough!’
“We are in the midst of a tragic war not of our making – the Mexican government declared war against organized crime, and we know that violence generates violence. The saying of Gandhi is more than ever applicable here: ‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.’”
Several groups are coordinating events throughout the Bay Area to raise public awareness and support for nonviolence efforts in Mexico. Pietro’s engagements currently include:
May 14, 7pm: IF Latin America Dinner, a fund raising event for Pietro. 160 Sunflower Lane, Watsonville. For reservations or more information, visit www.integrities.org or email ifofficemgr[at]gmail[dot]com
May 16, 6pm: Presentation at Monterey Institute for International Studies. For information please contact Pushpa Iyer at pushpa.iyer[at]miis[dot]edu
May 17, 7 pm: Presentation at the Metta Center for Nonviolence, 1730 Martin Luther King Jr Way, Berkeley (near Berkeley Center BART) Sponsored by Fellowship of Reconciliation and Metta Center for Nonviolence. For more information contact John Lindsay-Poland at johnlp[at]forusa[dot]org
May 18, 7 pm: Presentation at the Center for Political Education, 522 Valencia St., San Francisco (near 16th St. BART). Sponsored by Global Exchange, CPE, and Fellowship of Reconciliation. For more information contact John Lindsay-Poland at johnlp[at]forusa[dot]org
May 19, 7PM: Presentation at Watsonville Brown Berets Bike Shack. Contact Sandino Gomez at sandinista[at]freakradio[dot]org
May 20: Santa Cruz area presentation TBA
The Bay Area groups coordinating Pietro Ameglio’s events include IF and the Resource Center for Nonviolence in Santa Cruz; Fellowship of Reconciliation and Global Exchange in San Francisco; and the Metta Center for Nonviolence.
About Pietro Ameglio
Pietro Ameglio of Mexico has worked for more than two decades promoting active nonviolence in Latin America. Currently his efforts are at the heart of an emerging nonviolence movement in Mexico, offering new hope against uncontrolled drug violence and increasing militarization.