Global Exchange’s Stop US Arms to Mexico program hosted an International Delegation to Investigate the Weapons Flow to Mexico last month. Experts and gun violence prevention advocates from five countries that supply weapons to Mexico came to meet with impacted communities and policymakers in Mexico in February 2023.

We are pleased to share Chairwoman of Newtown Action Alliance & Newtown Action Alliance Foundation, Po Murray’s update from the delegation.

Dear GVP Community:

I was honored to be invited by John Lindsey Poland from Stop U.S. Arms to Mexico, a project of Global Exchange(and Centro Cultural Universitario Tlatelolco, Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, Center for Ecumenical Studies, and Global Thought Mx.) to join an international delegation from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Israel, Italy, and the U.S. (including Change the Ref cofounder Manuel Oliver whose son Joaquin was killed in Parkland, John Lowy who founded Global Action on Gun Violence, and Jordan Giger from Black Lives Matter South Bend), to travel to Mexico to embark on a journey to 1) meet with gun violence survivors, survivors of the disappeared, displaced journalists, Mexican Senators, Mexican government officials, U.S. ATF agents, officials from the U.S. Embassy, and the civic society leaders and advocates; and 2) to attend the Peace Summit.

In Mexico City, we met a mother who was completely heartbroken because her four sons had disappeared. In Guerrero, a state that has been on the U.S. State Department travel advisory list due to high levels of violence and kidnapping, we met many survivors of gun violence and disappeared citizens — including a wife whose husband went to a meeting and never made it home. Now, she has little to no income to feed her children and she has been threatened and silenced. We met numerous journalists who have been threatened, silenced, and displaced. We also met one of the mothers of the 43 male students who disappeared from the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers’ College after being forcibly abducted in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico in 2014.

We learned that Mexico has strong gun laws and only one gun store that is managed by the Mexican Army. We also learned that more than 110,000 Mexican citizens have disappeared since records have been kept. U.S. weapons are contributing to Mexico’s human rights crisis. Over 70-90% of crime guns from Mexico are from the United States with most of the trafficked weapons coming from Texas and Arizona. Watch THIS excellent Vice News video on how the Mexican drug cartel is smuggling thousands of U.S. weapons from the U.S. border into Mexico- — including Barrett .50 calibers that have been used to attempt to shoot down planes. These Barrett .50 calibers would be banned if the U.S. Congress passed the federal assault weapons ban legislation. President Biden is ready to sign the bill into law. 

In August 2021, the Mexican government filed a $10 billion lawsuit against eleven U.S. gun manufacturers, including Smith & Wesson, Colt and Beretta, accusing them of marketing and selling weapons of war favored by the drug cartel and contributing to Mexico’s bloodshed. In September 2022, a federal judge from Massachusetts dismissed the case. The Mexican government is currently appealing the lawsuit and filed another lawsuit against numerous gun shops and dealers in Arizona.

The guns manufactured and not very well regulated in the U.S. are killing our children and loved ones in the U.S. and in Mexico. The trafficked weapons arm the drug cartels that supply fentanyl to the U.S. citizens and many Mexican families are being displaced to the U.S. border due to violence and corruption.

President Biden and the U.S. Members of Congress must act to stop fueling the violence in Mexico!

The journey to Mexico was overwhelming since stopping the flow of illegal U.S. weapons will be the first step towards finding peace, safety, and prosperity for the people of Mexico whose basic human rights have been stripped. We promised the survivors that we would take their stories and deliver them to President Biden, the Members of U.S. Congress, and the U.S. citizens. I made a promise to the international delegation that I will work with them to stop the flow of U.S. weapons into Mexico.

In the coming weeks, the delegation will write and share a report with recommendations for the U.S. government. CAP will convene a follow-up conference in April.
We invite Latino, human rights, drug, immigration, and other advocacy groups to join our efforts. Please reach out to me if you are interested.
The delegation press release is HERE.
Po Murray
Chairwoman, Newtown Action Alliance & Newtown Action Alliance Foundation

North America’s problems cannot be solved without joint action by the people and communities of the three countries in the region. Grassroots organizations, communities that have suffered the impacts of violence, inequality, discrimination and racism from Canada, the United States and Mexico are coming together this week in Mexico City for the Peace Summit to build an agenda that reflects a common reality and charts a path of actions and solutions for the region.

The event calls for a social movement among historically marginalized communities most impacted by gun violence, immigration, and climate crises to catalyze a cross-border political agenda in anticipation of the 2024 presidential elections in both Mexico and the United States.

Speakers from Global Exchange, Black Lives Matter, March for Our Lives, CIELO, and others will facilitate two days of dialogue between a diverse coalition of more than 80 organizations and over 300 attendees to develop a unified action agenda around human rights, democracy, and peace. Participants are coming from communities who suffer disproportionately from policies around these issues, including victims of gun violence, migrants, Afro-descendant and Indigenous Peoples across the region.

We have been building momentum for the Peace Summit since 2022 by hosting several community forums across the U.S. and Mexico and by sending a letter signed by over 100 grassroots organizations to President Joe Biden, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urging action on gun violence, climate change, and immigration policies across the region.

We’ve long believed that community-led change and the civic power it generates are strengthened by people reaching out, building networks, cultivating relationships, and sharing knowledge strategically.

We hope you will join us online for the opening plenary tomorrow, Feb 23rd at 8am – 11am Pacific Time. Or visit our social media channels for updates. 

Big Tech is taking on a larger and larger role in our society and our lives.

The core power and product of social media is us – our clicks, likes, attention, emojis and responses are literally all that Meta-Facebook has to sell. We reject the idea that users can’t set the terms of the deal.

On November 17th, we will bring together users, tech workers, activists, and advocacy organizations to share resources, take action, and begin to build a social media safety net that works for users and workers all over the world. 

People just like you have already helped change the conversation and take action. From online actions to log out, to in-person protests outside of Facebook headquarters, you’ve shown time and again what’s possible when we come together, even against powerful tech giants! 

YOU are what makes the Big Tech Companies profit. It is time for users to build a user-led movement to have a say in how the world’s largest social media platform impacts our daily lives and communities. Your courage and commitment mean all of us, together, can use our collective voices to take action and demand better from Facebook and lawmakers.

Can we count on you to join us at the Town Hall?

If you are affiliated with an organization, consider officially partnering with us. Here is the link for more information on becoming an official partner or sponsor of our User and Tech Worker Town Hall. 

If you cannot attend, but would like to make a contribution to the Town Hall event’s success, you can make a donation here.

The time to take back our privacy and our power is now!

Facebook Users Union is a project of Media Alliance and Global Exchange.

Visit for more information

Authored by Anna Lee Mraz Bartra – Global Exchange and Peninsula 360 Press

Elections in Brazil are tomorrow on October 2nd, 2022.

While President Jair Bolsonaro’s antidemocratic narrative (see this analysis) has attacked the Brazilian electoral system, different political experts interviewed by Peninsula 360 have explained that this is a very remote possibility.

Carolina Botelho, a specialist in Brazilian politics from the Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies, with whom we had the privilege to speak in person in the streets of Rio de Janeiro, says, “It is a way of doing elections that we didn’t do before. With more security. We have to remember that in the past, elections could be subject of fraud, but not today”.

The democratic system has incorporated changes since 1994 to insure that very Brazilian could vote with ease and security. The Brazilian experience since then has been characterized by a rapid transition to universal electronic voting. This technology ensures that votes on the ballots cannot be modified to give preference to one or another candidate.

Tomorrow, 156 million Brazilians are expected to go to the polls to elect a new president, governors, and hundreds of members of federal and state legislative bodies; as well as state deputies for the country’s 26 states plus the federal district will also be chosen.

There is a very high degree of popular trust in the electoral system in Brazil.

Electronic ballots are regarded as innovative technology. “In Brazil, since these ballots were installed thirty years ago, there has been no evidence of fraud,” Botelho explains. She holds a Ph.D. in political science from IESP / UERJ, a master’s degree in sociology and anthropology from UFRJ, and a degree in social sciences from UFRJ.

One of the main characteristics of the Brazilian move toward electronic voting has been the large role played by the Tribunal Superior Eleitoral (TSE) – the institution responsible for managing elections, advocating for and implementing electronic voting – and the relatively little role played by civil society and oversight groups until recently.

Voting in Brazil is obligatory for anyone between the ages of 18 to and 70, unless you have a good justification for not going to the ballots on Election Day. The person’s name is on a list, the list is compared with the person’s ID, then they are given access to the electronic ballot.

Ballot machines were created to be small and light so they can be carried anywhere, even in remote places in the Amazon. And, if by any means someone were to be able to hack a machine, it would be just that, one machine.

In past elections, cohersive groups had tried to manipulate people’s vote by asking the person for a photograph of their vote. To avoid this, mobile phones or cameras are not allowed in the voting polls.

Bolsonaro’s narrative throughout the elections has been anti-democratic and has directly verbally attacked Justice Alexandre de Moraes, of the Federal Supreme Court, on several occasions stating that the electoral system is not to be trusted and that, according to Bolsonaro, fraud could happen in Brazil.

However, political scientist and expert on Brasilian elections, Adrian Albala, professor at the Institute of Political Science in Brasilia, states that “we have to remember that the current president [Bolsonaro] and his sons were elected through the same democratic system that he criticizes today”.

The president tries to discredit a powerful democratic resource Brazilians have worked for many decades to put in place. Bolsonaro was elected with the same system in the past elections. “This is, to say the least, contradictory and forgotten,” continues Botelho.

The poll tendency clearly marks that Bolsonaro is restricting himself to a very specific group, basically his base, and from there, he is not able to reach out to other sectors of the population. There are very few chances of re-election.

The possibility of Bolsonaro winning the election cannot be ruled out, says Albala. However, opinion polls indicate that the president is on track to lose the election and, as such, is building a narrative of fraud that, should Bolsonaro lose, could detonate violence by his supporters, many of whom are military, police, and even armed civilians.

According to Celso Sanchez from the UniRio, Bolsonaro’s discourse, amplified on social networks by his supporters, not only questions the Brazilian electoral system – the same one that brought him to the presidency – but also encourages electoral violence, particularly towards historically marginalized sectors of the population, against whom Bolsonaro has strongly attacked during his mandate: indigenous people, Afro-descendants – called quilombolas -, women and LGBTTTIQ+.

It is dangerous for people to validate Bolsonaro’s intentions, his narrative and the electoral dynamic he is trying to set in motion, Botelho says we can perceive this has more to do with creating a solution for him in case of losing the elections. “Until this moment, there is no evidence of fraud in the elections. What we do have evidence of, until now, is that the chances of reelection for this president are very low, and have gotten worse over time”.

“Brazil has a very weak president, electorally speaking,” says Albala. Some research shows that a wave of disinformation, hatred, and racism has permeated during these elections.

According to Sanchez, Brazil is experiencing a “dramatic moment of violence.” Following the 2018 murder of black councilwoman Marielle Franco in Rio de Janeiro, many black women across the country followed her legacy of social activism. However, Sanchez denounces, political violence against these activists, and even with academics working with them, has increased in the current electoral context: “threats are received almost daily.”

Botelho’s analysis is that Bolsonaro may be trying to set something in motion to resolve a possible loss in the future election. Similar to what Donald Trump generated during the United States elections in 2020, and January 6th raid on the Capitol. “This is probably why Bolsonaro is to discredit the electoral system” Botelho explains.

The electoral justice system has responded firmly to his accusations and has proven to the population that fraud is not possible, and that Bolsonaro’s antidemocratic narrative is an attempt to gain some political advantage in case he is defeated.

Brazilians will vote tomorrow, however, the possible outcome for this election are pieces of a puzzle that will only reveal itself in time, and pieces that -some- have already been set in place. How will Bolsonaro react to a possible defeat? More importantly, how will Bolsonaro’s supporters respond? Will the wave of violence and misinformation continue after the elections?

Since 1988, our Reality Tours have provided an opportunity for people to travel and create intercultural relationships that promote global understanding and togetherness. Tens-of-thousands have traveled with Global Exchange to countries near and far: Cuba, Cambodia, México, Ecuador, Iran, and more. We’re excited to invite you to travel with us this fall and over the New Year.

Space is limited, but still available on our upcoming fall and New Year’s tours.
Learn more and sign up below. 


October 28 – November 5, 2022

Join us for the annual Day of the Dead/Dia de Los Muertos festival in Oaxaca, Mexico; home to 16 Indigenous groups, the most of any Mexican state. This Aztec-era festival honors departed souls and their resurrection. We’ll also meet with women and other local leaders at the forefront of the local resistance movements and learn about local history and cultural traditions. Click here for details and to sign up.


November 12 – 20, 2022

A long history of successive economic and political crises in Argentina forced different sectors to no longer depend on the government and private corporations. Join us as we explore how Argentinians pulled together available resources and found a new way forward that celebrates diversity and working in cooperation. Click here for details and to sign up.


November 11 – 20, 2022

Join us in Cuba and explore Cuba’s beautiful and vibrant culture, arts, and architecture. You’ll have important people-to-people exchanges, learn about US/Cuba relations from various Cuban perspectives, tour several city centers, colonial towns, and more. We’ll also meet with artists, historians, economists, performers, and urban planners while enjoying the everyday splendor of the island’s rhythmic culture. Click here for details and to sign up.


December 28, 2022 – January 6, 2023

Join us as we celebrate New Year’s in Cuba and the Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution; a trip that was designated as a “National Geographic Trip of a Lifetime!” We will start in Havana and immerse ourselves in the beauty and energy of the city, spending our days meeting with those working on the pillars of the revolution including education and health. We’ll also learn about Cuba’s rich history, sustainability, economics, and agriculture, as well as learn firsthand from Cuban’s about their vibrant culture, resiliency, and daily life. Click here for details and to sign up.


December 27, 2022 – January 5, 2023

In Ecuador, you’ll meet with local organizations, politicians, journalists, farm workers, and Indigenous communities to discuss corporate globalization’s local, regional, and global impacts. You will have the chance to learn about local and international environmental justice efforts in the Andes and Amazon. You’ll discuss food sovereignty, fair trade, intellectual property rights, and Indigenous healing methods in Ecuador’s highlands and Amazon basin. Click here for details and to sign up.

All of our programs are adhering to strict COVID-19 safety guidelines to protect travelers and the communities that we visit.

Contact us if you have questions about any of our tours or to plan your private customized tour for four or more. ( or (415) 575 – 5527.


We, the undersigning human rights organizations from the United States, Mexico, Central and South America, as well as from the Caribbean, and express our full support for the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 (H.R. 1808), which the House of Representatives passed on July 29, as well as H.R. 2814 to hold gun producers accountable for irresponsible marketing practices. We also stand in support of greater restrictions on assault weapon exports as proposed by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Representative Joaquín Castro (TX-20). 

We call on Democratic leaders to highlight the human cost of U.S. assault weapons beyond the country’s borders and to support legislation to ban them internationally. Gun violence in Mexico and Central America, committed by both state and non-state forces, has grown to unprecedented levels in recent years. In Mexico, 25 percent of homicides were perpetrated with a gun during 2004 (the year the Assault Weapons Ban expired in the U.S.) However, this percentage has risen to 70 percent in 2020.

70% of firearms recovered from crime scenes in Mexico are trafficked from the United States. Successive Mexican administrations since 2006 have sought to address this gun violence with militarized strategies, with the vast majority of firearms used by state forces exported by the United States, Israel and several European nations. These weapons have not stemmed growing violence; instead, in many cases the weapons have furthered violence and forced migration.

Assault weapons are among the most demanded and used by drug cartels to commit disappearances, massacres, robberies, extortions, kidnappings and other atrocities. The effect of authorizing assault weapons in the border region, as proposed by Republican lawmakers, would be a boon to weapons traffickers, gun companies and dealers that are arming violent criminal organizations. Border-area gun dealers in Texas and Arizona already sell assault rifles with few restrictions on their illegal transfer into Mexico. 

We urge the Senate to move swiftly to ban the sale of assault weapons in all the United States, from which thousands of these weapons have been trafficked to criminal organizations. Too many people across the United States, Mexico and Central America are being senselessly gunned down by U.S.-sourced assault weapons. With easy access to military-style semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, many individuals have turned Mexico into a war zone filled with terror, devastation, and terrible loss.

U.S. assault weapons have also been exported to Mexican military and police units implicated in serious human rights abuses and collusion with organized crime. A study by the Mexican Commission for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights and Stop US Arms to Mexico found that 16,685 arms were lost or stolen from Mexican armed forces and state police between 2006 and 2019. Human rights violations, including disappearances, torture, and extrajudicial executions committed by Mexican security forces are rarely investigated and prosecuted in Mexico. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representatives Joaquin Castro and  Andy Levin each have spoken in Congressional hearings over the last week for greater restrictions on U.S. assault weapons exports, including to Mexico.

Military-style semi-automatic assault weapons are designed to efficiently kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time available. There is no reason for assault rifles, assault pistols, and assault shotguns to be sold on the civilian market in the United States or exported to Mexico or anywhere else in Latin America. 

Centro de Estudios Ecuménicos
Latin America Working Group
Comisión Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos
Programa de Seguridad Ciudadana, Universidad Iberoamericana
Global Exchange
ReverdeSer Colectivo
Causa en Común
Stop US Arms to Mexico
Casa Refugiados
Iglesias por la Paz
Global Thought
Observatorio Nacional Ciudadano
México Evalúa
Data Civica
Instituto RIA
Center for American Progress
Comite Central Menonita/ Mennonite Central Committee
Red Tira Paro
Red de Seguridad Humana para América Latina y El Caribe
Alianza Americas
Derechos de la Infancia y la Adolescencia, A.C. – Raquel Pastor Escobar, Directora
Alternativas de Divulgación
Organización Popular Independiente AC

Red x la infancia Ciudad Juárez.

It is time for President Biden to act on the climate crisis before it is too late. He should declare a climate emergency and issue critical executive orders that stop fossil fuel leases, exports and infrastructure.

With this latest Congressional setback, NOW IS THE MOMENT to push hard for Biden to use his full executive authority to take on the climate crisis.

Global Exchange is teaming up with our allies at People vs. Fossil Fuels for this action. We hope you take action with us today.

  • Please call the White House & urge @POTUS to declare a #ClimateEmergency, stop fossil fuel leasing, export and project approvals, and speed a just, renewable energy transition. #PeoplevsFossilFuels.
  • The White House Comment Line (888-431-7599) is open Tues-Thurs 11 AM – 3 PM EST. Please call during these hours and leave a message using the script below!
  • “Hi, my name is ____, & I’m from ____. I’m calling with the #PeoplevsFossilFuels coalition. With climate disasters mounting and Congress at a standstill, we’re counting on Biden to declare a climate emergency NOW and stop approving fossil fuel leases, exports & projects.”

We are closer than ever before to a #ClimateEmergency declaration and ramping up executive actions to tackle the climate crisis. We hope you can join our movement of People vs Fossil Fuels in demanding bold climate action from Biden!

By Marco Castillo and Ted Lewis

The 9th Summit of the Americas just got underway in Los Angeles. It is the first Summit hosted by the U.S. and already the upbeat PR from the Biden State Department  – about this being a chance to bring countries from the region together to tackle big regional challenges like immigration and climate – has fizzled.

Mexican President, Andres Manuel López Obrador announced that he will not attend the summit, protesting the U.S. decision to bar Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua. The presidents of Honduras, Guatemala, and Brazil have also decided to stay away.

This predictable snafu could have been avoided if Biden had simply invited all the countries in the hemisphere. Instead he caved to domestic pressure from conservatives, especially wealthy Cuban exiles who insist on maintaining long outmoded Cold War frameworks of isolation and sanctions. By letting arguments over political and ideological differences take center stage the Biden Administration undermined its own diplomatic goals as well as any genuine dialogue, debate, or productive negotiation.

The Mexican president’s decision is based on principle. As this Global Exchange interview with Citlalli Hernández, General Secretary of Mexico’s ruling MORENA party underlines, Mexico has a long tradition of non-alignment and openness to political exiles. Mexico immediately recognized revolutionary Cuba in the 1950s. In the 1970s, it opened its arms to political refugees fleeing U.S. backed dictatorship in South America. In the early 1980s, Mexico even recognized the FMLN guerillas in El Salvador when the Reagan Administration was trying to crush their revolution.

Mexico’s independence from U.S. foreign policy suffered after the economic collapse of 1982 and the eventual imposition of NAFTA in the 1990s. In the 2000s, the price of getting too close to U.S. national security doctrine became clear as the U.S. backed drug war became the driver of deepening militarization and an escalating internal war in Mexico that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives. The decision by President López Obrador to boycott the Los Angeles Summit is a promising sign that Mexico is serious about re-establishing distance from American foreign policy while reinforcing its traditional stance of non-alignment known as the Estrada Doctrine.

Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia supported Mexico’s call to open the Summit to every nation in the hemisphere. Global Exchange also supported this call – we have always identified with the spirit of the Estrada Doctrine – and we supported Mexico’s call with a letter to President Biden asking that he invite all countries.

Now we are here in Los Angeles to speak out as citizens from across the Americas united and calling for a new relationship between the U.S. and Latin America.

Tune in, we will bring you on-the-ground reports and interviews throughout the week.

Even if our leaders are in disarray, we the people of our hemisphere will continue to respect and work together to build a civic challenge to out-dated foreign policies based on intervention and aggression against international political rivals.

Global Exchange will host a series of webcasts  that will seek to make the important changes in Colombia more understandable. We have invited experts who will help us deepen our understanding of what is happening in Colombia and how those of us who stand in solidarity with Colombians seeking peace and justice for their country can help.

The first  webcast  was held on Monday, May 30th the day after the first round of elections in Colombia. It offers information on the results and analysis from experts: David Huey of Global Exchange, Gustavo Duncan of EAFIT University, Angela Rodriquez of Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, and Laura Carlsen with the Americas Program.

Please watch and share.