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Mexico’s Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity is inviting participation in a “Caravan to the South” that will visit cities, towns, and rural communities in Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, and Veracruz. The Caravan starts in Mexico City on September 8 and will return on the 18th, just prior to a second high-profile encounter scheduled for September 23 between peace movement representatives led by poet, Javier Sicilia and Mexico’s President, Felipe Calderón.

What sparked the caravan from central Mexico north to Ciudad Juarez earlier this summer is the idea that listening to the stories and ideas of people and communities affected by violence and amplifying their pleas for justice can inspire solidarity and resistance in the face of war and death. The motive of this new caravan – which will travel thousands of kilometers over vastly different terrain – is the same. International participants will be expected to help spread the word to their communities, networks, and organizations. Look below for more information about the caravan and how to join it.

This summer, Mexico’s fledgling peace movement has held unprecedented, publicly broadcast, and live streamed, meetings with both the President and his cabinet, as well as with top congressional leaders of all three parliamentary factions. This prime-time exposure, the expectations it raised, and the inherent vagaries of speaking truth to power have proved challenging to the movement and its leaders.

The Caravan to the South and actions like it are vital to keeping the movement focused on solutions while remaining firmly tethered to the painful realities that gave birth to it: the expanded use of military tactics and force – encouraged by the United States  – has escalated violence and reinforced the system of impunity at the heart of Mexico’s tragedy.

More than 50,000 Mexicans have been slaughtered in less than five years of Felipe Calderon’s presidency. The Caravan to the South is part of the movement’s continuing push to challenge and transform Mexico’s misplaced national security priorities.

If you are interested in joining the caravan, please sign up on the movement’s website and contact me at for more information about requirements, conditions, and probable costs.