In 2011, Javier Sicilia, a prominent poet whose son, Juan Francisco, was murdered by members of a Mexican drug trafficking organization, helped to found the Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity (Movimiento por la Paz con Justicia y Dignidad). The Movement for Peace emerged in response to the widespread violence in the country as a way to give voice to the families of the victims, to make clear the real cost of the efforts to combat drug trafficking, and to demand justice for the victims and an end to the violence. In the last year, the Movement for Peace has traveled across Mexico to some of the most dangerous areas of the country, and courageous family members have come forward at great risk to tell their personal stories.
In August, the Movement for Peace launched a Caravan for Peace through the United States to raise awareness about the violence in Mexico and call for bi-national solutions. Along the way, members of the caravan—which includes family members of victims of violence in Mexico—have promoted dialogue with local and national groups on bi-national issues, such as arms trafficking from the United States to Mexico and drug policy.
The caravan will end its U.S. journey in Washington, DC on September 12. While in DC, the members of the caravan will participate in meetings with government officials and community leaders, as well as a variety of public events.
WOLA, along with other national and local organizations, has been supporting the caravan throughout its journey. We hope that you can join us for the events listed below. Please click on the links for more information and RSVP details for each event.
Monday, September 10
Event at Freedom Plaza to welcome the Caravan for Peace
Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest between 13th Street and 14th Street
Join us as various DC organizations welcome Mexico’s Peace Caravan.
Tuesday, September 11
8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
The Peace Movement in Mexico: Efforts to Bring Justice to the Victims of Violence in the Country
Sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
12:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
Panel with members of the Caravan for Peace
Sponsored by the American University Kay Spiritual Life Center
4400 Massachusetts Avenue Northwest
4:30 a.m. -6:30 p.m.
Caravan for Peace with Justice and Dignity: A Bi-national Initiative
Sponsored by WOLA and Latin American Studies at George Mason University
George Mason University
Johnson Center, Third Floor, Room D
6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
U.S. Guns and Violence in Mexico: A Bi-national Call for Solutions
Sponsored by WOLA, the Latin America Working Group, and the Elliot School of International Affairs at George Washington University
Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street Northwest
Lindner Family Commons
Wednesday, September 12
5:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Vigil and Procession for Peace
5:30 p.m.: Procession meets at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church
1525 Newton Street Northwest
6:30 p.m.: Procession begins from St. Stephen’s and proceeds down 16th Street Northwest toward Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park
7:30 p.m.: Music and caravan closing