We’ve been working with María Herrera Magdaleno for over a decade now. So when we saw her name listed as one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People for 2023, we knew this honorific could not have been given to a more deserving person.

Global Exchange first met Maria in 2012, when she became a leading voice in the binational Caravan for Peace that drew attention to the ongoing violence in Mexico, and linked it with policy choices and impacted communities in the United States.

Since then, we’ve been consistently impressed by Maria’s tireless commitment to the struggle for peace and justice. As noted in the Time article detailing her work, Maria’s work is driven by a most personal connection – four of her eight children have been missing for over ten years.

We are proud to call Maria a partner in our work, proud to name as a friend someone who has dedicated the past decade to teaching people how to track down the disappeared, dedicated herself to helping change the policies that have caused so much pain to so many people.

Maria later joined us for the 2016 Caravan for Life, Peace and Justice, which traversed the distance between Honduras to NY, highlighting the linkages between immigration, gun violence, and drug policy throughout South and Central America and the United States.

Maria has been a steadfast advocate for an end to the drug war, taking part in a number of Drug Policy Alliance annual conferences alongside Global Exchange. Most recently, Maria played an important role in a binational Peace Summit 2023.

Oh, and did we mention…we’ll be working with Maria again very soon! The Peace Summit has sparked a binational movement that demands an end to militarization and gun proliferation and calls for binational policies that ensure peace, justice and human rights for the region. This call is increasingly important as both the US and Mexico head toward presidential elections in 2024.

So, on  the afternoon of April 17th and April 18th, we will be holding conversations with White House representatives and congress members to push for policies that put a stop to US gun trafficking and exports and promote violence prevention and peace building. For this event, we have invited survivors of gun violence from the United States and Mexico, including Maria.

If you are in the DC-area, please join us. You can RSVP here.

We once again offer our sincerest gratitude for all the work Maria has done over the years, and a hearty congratulations for this well deserved recognition.