Four years ago, in Mexico, President Calderon declared war on the drug cartels. Since then, this drug war has failed to the expense of 34,000 lives. Organized crime appears to be gaining strength, not losing it. Violence is increasing, and the horror stories of people disappearing, being killed, beheaded or mutilated become more and more a part of everyday life.
In spite of the militarization of the country, impunity predominates…. The army and the police are corrupted, and their violations of human rights go unpunished.
In Mexico the strength of organized crime is due to a complex conjunction of factors deeply embedded in society: growing social inequalities and poverty, corruption, impunity, the influx of illegal weapons and the increasing demand for drugs from the U.S.A — a country that wants Mexico to fight this war for them, so drugs don’t reach their citizens, but at the expense of lives in the developing world. The government’s response—militarization—does not tackle these social problems from their roots; it’s actually making things worse instead of better.
It is increasingly obvious that civilians are often victims of this violence, and in response, students across Mexico have been demonstrating against the government’s current policies in a show of solidarity. In spite of having been kettled and threatened by the police, the students are determined to show their anger, and the movement is gaining strength.
As we have seen with Egypt, international support is crucial if this movement is to have an impact. On Friday 18th of February, at 1:00pm, we will demonstrate in front of the Mexican embassy, demanding the authorities to stop militarization, to re-think their strategy to fight organized crime, and to pay our respects for the 34,000 who have died.
Mexican Embassy.16 St George Street Hanover Sq. W1S 1FD. London, United Kingdom