t.e.j.a.s. Joins #USTired2 National Day of US-Mexican Solidarity
Today, t.e.j.a.s. joins groups across the country in an unprecedented national mobilization to demand an end to the deadly “Plan Mexico,” a billion-dollar program to aid Mexico’s corrupt and notoriously violent security forces, ostensibly in their fight against the so-called War on Drugs. The protest in Houston will take place at 5 p.m. at the Federal Building (1919 Smith).
In the wake of the massive human rights crisis in Mexico that was exposed by the recent disappearance of the 43 students in the state of Guerrero, thousands of people from across the United States will march in front of federal buildings in their respective cities and other locations (at various times: for a full list of participating cities, locations, and times go to www.USTired2.com/cities) to call on the Obama Administration and Congress to stop US funneling billions of tax dollars of military aid, training and coordination to Mexico’s military and police forces, which are widely known to be perpetrating massive human rights violations, including the September kidnapping of the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa teachers’ college in the state of Guerrero, Mexico. In order to put a human face on the tragedy of U.S. policy in Mexico, each of the 43 cities will raise up images and tell the story of one of the 43 students disappeared students of Ayotzinapa. Ayotzinapa students, who survived the killing and disappearances that took place in September, sent a video message inviting the people of the United States to join #USTired2’s December 3 actions.
This day of action is being organized by the all-volunteer campaign #USTired2, a broad and diverse network of communities connected to Mexico. #USTired2 emerged as the English-language counterpart to the #YaMeCansé* campaign that has swept the country as Mexicans declare that they are tired of the state violence, human rights abuses and widespread impunity — all aided by U.S. tax dollars.
*The #YaMeCansé hashtag originated from a response given by Mexico’s Attorney General, Jesus Murillo Karam, at a press conference about the 43 students during which he ended the Q&A portion by saying “Ya Me Cansé” (“I’ve had enough”) in an attempt to evade questions from journalists. Karam’s response instantly sparked outrage among protesters and students across the country, and thus the hashtag was born.
“The fact that our country is funding police and other human rights-abusing security forces through “Plan Mexico” makes the disappearance of the 43 students and the rest of the state violence in Mexico our issue here in the United States,” said Roberto Lovato, one of the founders of #USTired2. “The time has come to end ‘Plan Mexico’ because for many of us, Mexico is not a “foreign policy” issue. Mexico is family, especially for the more than 35 million people of Mexican descent living in the U.S. And for the sake of these families, we have decided to hold vigils for the dead and disappeared, vigils that will mark the beginning of the end of the failed Mexico “drug war” policies of our government.”
In Mexico, over 100,000 people have been murdered and more than 25,000 have gone missing over the last decade, many thousands of whom were killed by the same security forces our US tax dollars are paying for. The majority of this violence is perpetrated by Mexican security forces, which are widely known to collaborate with the narco-traffickers. The cornerstone of “Plan Mexico” is the multi-billion dollar Plan Merida, a security aid program implemented in 2007, which President Obama has promised to continue “indefinitely.” As many of us did when we proved the President wrong on his denials of executive authority on immigration, so will the powerful peace movement behind #USTired2.
Continuing Plan Merida is illegal under US law. The Leahy Law prohibits the State Department or Defense Department from providing military assistance to “any unit of the security forces of a foreign country if the Secretary of State has credible information that such unit has committed a gross violation of human rights.”
Under Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, the government’s human rights abuses are the worst the region has seen in decades, according to human rights organizations. “I don’t know of a single case of this magnitude in real time in all of Latin America in the last 30 years,” said Jose Miguel Vivanco, the Americas Director of Human Rights Watch. “Impunity is the only explanation,” he added.
For a list of all participating cities, go to www.USTired2.com/cities.