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Caravan for peace in the U.S.

This is a report from Angela Kocherga at KVUE in El Paso. The Caravan for Peace is the effort spearheaded by poet Javier Sicilia who lost his son to drug war violence last year. Sicilia mobilized a lot of publicity in a series of meetings with President Felipe Calderon. Now, he is leading a small group that began a journey in San Diego and will arrive in Washington DC in mid-September. It's unfortunate for his cause that Sicilia doesn't speak English. He's eloquent in Spanish but the message in translation probably gets lost. I post this because the caravan gets some coverage here in Mexico but very little in the U.S. media.


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John Randolph

Testimony - The Caravan for Peace – A Godsend

Buenas Tardes – Bienvenidos a Senor Javier Sicilia y todas las Caravanistas. Thank you to Global Exchange for your efforts in supporting the Peace Caravan and international human rights. Here in America we have not yet created our version of an Arab Spring. I hope your efforts here will help pave the way.

My testimony is that of a retired US Border Patrol/INS/ICE agent.

Early in my career on the San Diego Border I remember thinking to myself “Why do we chase human beings around like animals in the night when many of these people we are chasing are the people who harvest our food?”
I also remember experiencing and knowing at a gut level that the vast majority of the people who I encountered were decent, hard working people who were simply looking for work in support of their families.

I remember wondering why other nations’ governments, especially the Mexican government - did not provide decent living wages and equivalent social services like those found in the US.

I know today that the immigration problems of the US, Mexico and the world, are caused by greed. I know today that our mutual problems concerning illegal drugs are also caused by greed.

This Caravan for Peace is a godsend. It creates the opportunity for us to connect, meet face to face, and discover solutions to common problems that our governments refuse to address.

When I say “us” I am referring to the decent, hard working common people from both sides of the US/Mexican border.

When I say “they” I am referring to the bi-national 1% super rich who run both governments. It is “they” who try to brainwash us into believing that both governments are democracies run by and for the people, when in fact they are both 1% oligarchies run by and for the enrichment of the 1%.
I bet they do not want us talking together. I bet they know we will get to know and love each other. They know we will see through the lies that their politicians and border wall hides.

They profit at our expense. And as far as the insidiously failed US-backed Mexican Drug war is concerned, the bi-national 1% has profited at the loss of over 60 thousand lives in Mexico alone.

How else do they profit while exploiting our ways of life?

o From blood and sweat of Mexican labor – legal and illegal
o From illegal drugs, distribution, and money laundering
o From weapons sales
o From the decades long enforcement of failed drug/immigration policies
o From the militarization of the border
o From 1.25 billion dollars a day of cross border trade
o From Mexican oil
o From billions of dollars in remittances
o From money laundering
o From unjust NAFTA policies

I believe that deep down in their hearts they know they are wrong. I believe that they know that their greed will destroy the world. Deep down they hope that we will bring them to their senses.

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This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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