Strategic proposals to advance peace and justice in the mexico-US region

With the contributions of the almost 1000 participants in our preparatory forums and in our Peace Summit, and with the support of leaders and communities across the region, we developed a Binational Agenda for Peace and Justice.

This agenda contains the voices of Indigenous leaders, victims of armed violence, families of the disappeared, migrants, women, farmers, workers, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community in Mexico, the US and Central America. These are individuals deeply affected by a binational relationship that has historically divided and harmed them. However, they are determined to channel their frustration and anger into comprehensive and transformative proposals aimed at revitalizing the Mexico-U.S. relationship with peace, justice, and human rights at its core. 

This is why this 10 proposals represent a horizon of change for the People’s Movement for Peace and Justice.

10 people's PROPOSALS

to advance peace with justice

in the Mexico-Us region

Sign the petition

December 10th:

Human Rights Under Attack 

in Mexico and the US 

To the Governments of Mexico and the United States, to the people of the region and to our neighbors, 

In the lead-up to International Human Rights Day (12/10/23), the leaders and representatives of the People’s Movement for Peace and Justice held a special Assembly to assess the situation in the Mexico-United States region.

The voices of peasants, Indigenous Peoples and migrants began to resonate from the mountains to the coastline, from  migrant shelters to detention centers,  and joined  our Assembly. 

Don Gilberto, a migrant farm worker in the fields of the Central Valley in California, stopped to dry his sweat after 10 hours of work under the sun and without medical security, and looked up to shout, “This is everyday violence!”

In Mexico City, José Ugalde of Desaparecidos Justicia heard the voice of Don Gilberto, and from the Assembly of the People’s Movement for Peace and Justice said:

“For migrants, Afro-descendants, Indigenous Peoples and survivors of armed violence, particularly women, LGBTQIA+, land defenders and journalists, the violence is no surprise. It’s a horrible and murderous thing with which we have to fight from birth.”

And Camilo Pérez-Bustillo, from the San Francisco chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, also present at the Assembly, said, “That is why we came together to constitute the People’s Movement for Peace and Justice because pain unites us, anger burns inside us, and the hope for peace and justice is a shared anxiety.”.  

And a nameless voice, which could be heard to be, perhaps missing, perhaps hidden under some stones, said, “In Mexico, in the middle of 2023, after the battle for the rights to education that ended in the disappearance and murder of young people on October 20, 1968; after the fight for democracy that ended in the historic fraud of 1988, after more than 110,000 disappeared, including the night of Ayotzinapa in 2014, and above all, despite the triumph of democracy in 2018, violence deepens and threatens the life of the Mexican Nation.

From the highlands of Guerrero, Mexico, Don Heriberto asks, “What can Mexico do to stop this downward spiral?

And another nameless voice, the voice of someone who is lost in the desert, said: “In the United States, in the middle of 2023, after four years of nationalist neo-fascism that put the life of the entire planet at risk, those who promised to recover a little of the humanism lost in the United States, maintained the regime of persecution against migrants, failed to stop the proliferation of deadly US guns and far from strengthening peace, they led us to war in Ukraine and to the genocide in Gaza.”

And outside a migrant shelter in Staten Island, New York, a Honduran refugee asks “What happened to this country’s promise of equality?”

All these words reached our Assembly and made us pause, and after two hours of discussion, we agreed that:

“Those of us who are part of the People’s Movement for Peace and Justice see that what we need is to stop and look at what is happening, have a serious discussion about what it means to live in a democracy, and build strength to stop this tragedy.”

An account of violence impacting our communities in  2023:

  • More than 111,000 people are missing in Mexico.
  • In Tapachula, Chiapas, according to the Hospitality and Solidarity Shelter, migrants and asylum seekers are not receiving a fair asylum process,and are being denied and deported
  • Faced with this chaos caused by the institutions, more than 1,000 migrants advanced towards Mexico City, and in Huixtla, Oaxaca, they decided to sew their mouths to avoid being interviewed again.
  • According to the José María Morelos y Pavón Human Rights Center in Acapulco, Guerrero, after the devastation caused by Hurricane Otis, organized crime resurfaced, and thousands of people are now being forced to leave their homes in the Sierra.
  • At the recent Meeting of Black Peoples in Tamiahua, Veracruz, people recognized that Afro-descendant communities are doubly hit by environmental devastation. They were already poor and the hurricane only turns them into topics of speeches, but in reality, aid only brings them back from the precipice and returns them to the poverty and risk of the past.
  • In Mexico City, the Casa Tochan and CAFEMIN shelters report that  the National Migration Institute and the Secretariat of Public Security under the command of Martí Bátres, led social cleansing actions by carrying out unprecedented raids in bus terminals and around the shelters that offer food and lodging, destroying decades of construction of a framework of hospitality and interculturality laws.
  • In Guadalajara, the migrant organization FM4 Paso Libre denounces that unpunished violence destroys the lives of young people, especially women. 
  • In Agua Prieta, Sonora, the Exodus Migrant Assistance Center denounces the siege of bus stations by organized crime and the government’s inattention to the hundreds of people internally displaced from Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca who are fleeing violence in their communities.
  • Throughout the nation, according to the National Federal Public Security Census of the Government of Mexico, the so-called National Guard is the military in disguise. 82.3% of its elements are military. It only detained 2,814 alleged criminals in 2022, but detained 177,166 [CAMILO edit: migrants in transit]. An institution that costs over 1.5 billion dollars that does not detain alleged criminals but does detain hundreds of thousands of migrants.

And in the United States, 

  • There have been more than 35,000 deaths in 2023 due to armed violence
  • In Texas, according to the Latin America Task Force, Gregg Abbott is trying to implement two xenophobic laws that would imprison migrants for up to 10 years just for being humans without immigration status.
  • According to the Migrant and Minorities Alliance, a xenophobic and hateful regime has been imposed on migration in that state.
  • In New York, Massachusetts  and other northern states, according to the organization Transnational Villages Network, the hate agenda against asylum and refugee seekers is spreading and cities are collapsing due to the lack of federal funding for the shelter system, while the same government is trying to send 106 million in emergency “aid” to Ukraine and Israel that will be used to buy more weapons from US arms companies.

 

For the members of the People’s Movement for Peace and Justice, echoing the voices and pain of our people and the communities with which we work, these realities seem to indicate that Human Rights are the enemy of the State and that the priorities are to militarize  and fuel access to weapons; punish migrants  and the displaced, while failing to stop  violence, especially in poor neighborhoods and Afro-descendant and Indigenous communities.

In the Assembly hall, a question resounded in an Indigenous language from the Highlands of Chiapas: What do we do?

Patricia, from the Afro-descendant Women’s Network, said, “Well, we the people have the Binational Agenda of the People’s Movement for Peace and Justice, which has ten proposals to rebuild our house in this land and this nation in pain.” 

And Abraham, a Guatemalan migrant in Chicago, began to read the demands aloud:

  • We want a serious binational mechanism to make transparent and control the sale of weapons in the US, as well as to control, and where appropriate, stop, their flow and use in Mexico and Central America, to stop the proliferation of weapons in the US, Mexico and Central America.
  • We need a high-level binational strategic working group for the Responsible Demilitarization of civil security tasks, with the participation of civil society and human rights organizations from both countries, to ensure that the Mexican Army and US Government agencies stop doing tasks that do not concern them and that generate more violence in our communities
  • The governments of Mexico and the United States must  promote regional dialogue on Drug Policy and a Binational Campaign to change the punitive paradigm on drugs for one that puts life, rights, and health at the center, to stop seeing drugs as something bad and that has to be punished.
  • A binational organization with the participation of civil society is urgently needed to monitor human rights, with extraordinary mechanisms for access to the Truth, Search for the Disappeared, Justice and honoring the victims, to achieve a common policy between the US and Mexico that serves to [ In cases of serious human rights violations] let us know what happened to our loved ones, there is justice and we can heal from the measures of the governments.
  • The governments of our countries must promote a Binational Strategy/Campaign to search for missing persons, to collaborate so that we can find our loved ones, know what happened to them, and get the justice we deserve.
  • And the societies of Mexico and the United States must demand and join an unprecedented Binational cultural and educational change to dismantle discrimination, racism and promote education for peace, so that all people understand that we are all equal regardless of our skin color and so that they are able to foster inclusion.
  • Mexico must recover its {historical commitment to hospitality] and convene a working group from the Latin American region for the implementation of a Latin American and  Caribbean citizenship and for immigration and labor reform in the US with a rights-based approach, so that each country and the entire region have a policy that protects and includes migrant individuals, families and communities, and that recognizes our rights to the conditions necessary in our communities for a dignified life, and our rights to migrate when these conditions are denied us, and to not be forcibly displaced .                                                     
  • And no less urgent, a high-level binational strategic working group [is needed] with the participation of Latin America to address the root causes of hunger, violence and environmental devastation that are at the root of migration and forced displacement, so that countries [fulfill their obligations to] protect people who flee in fear from their communities due to hunger and violence.
  • And governments must demand polluting companies to create a binational fund to compensate for environmental losses and damages, as mandated by COP27, and implement the Peace Clause to impose moratoriums on trade agreements when they have negative impacts on the environment of workers so that all people take care of our environment to protect the health and future of children.
  • And urgently, the laws of Mexico and the United States must recognize the autonomy of indigenous territories, prohibit extractivism on their lands and [facilitate the exercise of the fundamental human right to freedom of movement] , a right exercised ancestrally by our peoples.

And after reading, Grisel remembered that Don Jacinto, a peasant murdered for defending his mountain, left a written paper that said:

  • Don’t be fooled. Democracy is not in candidates. It’s not a show. The democracy of a nation and a region is measured in the treatment of the people who live there. In their access to the rights that correspond to them. Our votes gain value when we demand candidates to represent our highest aspirations in their platforms and hold them accountable. 
  • Violence is a product of the violation of rights.
  • Migration is a product of the violation of rights.
  • The answer will never be the violation of the human rights of the victims. 
  • The answer will never be militarization.

The People’s Movement for Peace and Justice subscribes to those words and launches this statement to demand that all political forces in Mexico and the United States stop their path, to listen to the voices of the communities devastated by violence and assume the demands established in the Binational People’s Agenda.

In 2024, we will call candidates and parties from both countries to hold a citizen dialogue and discuss why it is now the time to implement these and other changes that society demands. How many more deaths?

 

Stop the attack on Human Rights,

End militarism and violence,

[Open] your ears and hearts to the call of peace,

THE PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT FOR PEACE AND JUSTICE



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Organizations and collectives

This movement is an initiative headed by Global Exchange along with the following organizations, collectives and groups: 

United States/Canada

• Alianza de Ex-Braceros
• Americas Program
• Black Lives Matter south Bend
• Black Lives Matters Canada
• California Institute for Rural Studies
• Center for American Progress
• Center for Native Americans
• CIELO, Indigenous leadership
• CODEPINK - Women for Peace
• El Molino Informativo
• Florida Farm Workers
• Gun Violence Prevention Network
• Indigenous Immigrant People Council
• IPS
• Latin America Working Group
• Lila
• March for Our Lives
• National Lawyers Guild
• North American Indigenous Center of New York
• Península 360Press
• Red de Pueblos Trasnacionales
• SEIU - USWW
• South Texas Human Rights Center
• Stop US Arms to Mexico
• Voces de los Pueblos
• Witness at the Border
• Women Against Gun Violence
• Change the Ref
• Global Action on Gun Violence
• Newtown Action Alliance

Mexico/Central America

• Al Otro Lado
• Albergue para Migrantes de Piedras Negras
• Alternativas de Divulgaciòn A.C.
• Alternativas y capacidades A.C.
• Casa de Acogida Formación y Empoderamiento de la Mujer Migrante y Refugiada
• Casa de Refugiados
• Casta Tochan
• Centro de Atención a la familia Migrante Indígena
• Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Montaña “Tlachinollan”
• Centro de protecciòn a refugiados y migrantes internacionales (CEPREMI)
• Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de Derechos HUmanos
• Culturas del Pasado Voces del Presente
• Desde Nosotras, colectiva de fotoperiodistas
• Familiares en Búsqueda María Herrera
• Fundación Avina
• Fundación para la Democracia
• Instituto Mora
• Instituto para las Mujeres en las Migraciones
• Instituto RIA
• Jóvenes Ante la Emergencia Nacional
• Las Mujeres Rurales de la Frontera Sur S.A. de R.L. de C.V.
• Las Vanders
• Migrántolos
• Mujeres Organización y Territorios MOOTS
• NuestraRed Mx
• Red de Documentación de las Organizaciones
• ReverdeSer Colectivo
• Servicios y Asesorías para la Paz
• Tribunal Internacional de Conciencia Pueblos en Movimiento
• Ningún Ser Humano es Ilegal
• Tribunal Permanente de los Puelos
• Servicios Paz y Justicia