Calderón breaks word to Javier Sicilia: Movement responds

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Mexican President Calderón has broken his public pledge made to Mexican peace movement representatives to evaluate steps taken by the government since an internationally televised dialogue held in the Chapultepec Castle, three months ago.

Contending that the president reneged on his promise, peace movement leaders have challenged him to honor his word by moving ahead with plans to convene, as agreed, at 10:00 AM on October 7 at the Chapultepec Castle with or without the President and his cabinet.

Calderón’s eleventh hour reversal came just a week after the “Caravan to the South” –organized by Mexico’s peace and justice movement — completed a two week, 3,900 kilometer loop through Mexico’s long-troubled and increasingly violent southeastern states. Led by Javier Sicilia and others who have lost loved ones in Mexico’s still expanding war, the 30 vehicle bus and car convoy plied the highways and back roads of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco and Veracruz.

Movement leaders, now back in Mexico City, had been preparing to meet with Calderón despite his stubborn insistence that his decisions to militarize the enforcement of drug prohibition is absolutely correct, or at least irreversible. Even with little or no visible progress, movement leaders were prepared to continue talks on a broad range of topics related to the war and its victims –until Calderón closed the door to dialogue.

Now the movement is planning an unprecedented gathering of war victims on October 7th. They will put their positions forward and announce new peace movement actions for Day of the Dead (Nov 2), Constitution Day (Nov 20), and beyond.

Please check the movement website for possible broadcast details for the Oct 7th events.

Also coming up in October is a month-long speaking tour with investigative journalists, John Gibler and Diego Osorno, on the political uses of the drug war. See the full listing of dates and locations of the tour.

Help us connect the dots to build a powerful movement for peace in Mexico north of the border. Visit our Mexico program page to see some of what we are doing and who we are working with to get it done.

See NYTimes’ recent profile on Javier Sicilia, “Can This Poet Save Mexico?”