People rally near the cathedral in Morelia, Mexico as part of a campaign against violence called 'Peace Caravan. / Reuters

Key Juárez Human Rights Organization Broken Into by Federal Police as Peace Caravan Makes its Way North

Last Sunday night, just after eight o’clock, Mexican Federal Police violently broke into and searched the offices of the Centro de Derechos Humanos, Paso del Norte. This Center, led by Father Oscar Enriquez, has played a pivotal role in building Mexico’s national peace movement and is a Global Exchange partner.

The Center is also a principal organizer host of the Peace Caravan, led by poet Javier Sicilia, that will arrive in Ciudad Juárez this Thursday night to discuss and sign the “National Pact for Peace with Justice and Dignity” which was described in a previous post.

Please join Global Exchange and dozens of other organizations in letting U.S. authorities know that we are deeply disturbed by this criminal action by Federal Police — clearly aimed at intimidating the courageous Mexicans who have been speaking out for peace.


Write to:

  • Arturo Valenzuela, United States Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affair,

And copy on the e-mail:

Ask (in your own words) for the following things:

  • That the the Mexican Attorney General’s office (Procurador General):

a) give a detailed explanation of the operation,
b) make a complete investigation of what occurred and by whose orders, and
c) punish those officials and police officers responsible for this incident.
d) That the State Department make a public statement in support of the peace initiatives undertaken on the Caravan and condemn this attack on human rights defenders.

Thank you for your support.

Earlier this month, we reported on mass mobilizations against the drug war that stretched from Ciudad Juárez to San Cristóbal, partnered with solidarity movements around the world. At the May 8th demonstration in Mexico City, the National Pact for Peace, or Pacto Nacional, was first presented calling for, among other things: ending the militarization of the effort to control drug trafficking which is fundamentally a public health issue; challenging official corruption and impunity that have crippled genuine investigations and law enforcement; and opposing the economic monopolies that have robbed the wealth of the poorest Mexicans, leaving millions of youth with few productive options.

Javier Sicilia has been a driving force behind the Pacto Nacional that opponents of President Calderon’s drug war will sign in Ciudad Juarez on June 10th. A summarized English translation of the Pacto that lays out the broad demands of the growing movement can be found here.

Javier Sicilia will travel to the United States next week to receive the Global Exchange “People’s Choice” human rights award for the peace movement that he has sparked in the wake of his son’s death. If you are in San Francisco, you will be able to see him at the 7:00 PM awards ceremony. He will also be speaking to the media on June 1st at a 10 AM press conference at Mission Cultural Center, 2868 Mission Street, San Francisco CA 94110.

In other Mexico news, on June 15th, John Gibler’s new book, To Die In Mexico, will be released at City Lights Books in San Francisco. Please note that Global Exchange is sponsoring a U.S. tour of both Gibler and author Diego Osorno (El Cártel de Sinaloa) this fall. Please get in touch with me at if you are interested in hosting them to address audiences at schools, churches, union halls, and other organizations in your community.