THE WAR on DRUGS HAS LEFT THE POLITICAL POWER WITH ENORMOUS PROFITS
Caravan for Peace: the economic interests of powerful nations are behind it.
By: José Antonio Román
Members of the Caravan for Peace, Life and Justice, to whom are added religious representatives, academics, researchers, intellectuals and activists, asked to put an end “to the war on drugs,” which has left hundreds of thousands of victims, and also left enormous profits for the owners of money and the political power.
They pointed out that this “war,” impelled from the economic interests of the most powerful countries, has left scourges like the militarization of public security, forced internal displacement, disappearances, torture, extra-judicial executions, arbitrary detentions, corruption and impunity in the Mesoamerican nations.
Meeting in a forum organized on behalf of the caravan and specialists, they warned that our societies cannot continue ceding their rights to the “terrible and absurd” fight against drugs, which has placed almost all the countries Central America and Mexico among the most violent nations in the world.
The caravan, which left Honduras on March 28 and since then has traveled through El Salvador and Guatemala to arrive in Mexico, has New York City as its final destination, where it seeks to arrive on April 18, the eve of the special session called by the General Assembly of the United Nations to discuss the theme of international policy on drugs.
Laura Carlson, director of the Americas Program; Martín Baraona, Bishop emeritus of the Anglican Episcopal Church of El Salvador, and Alex Sierra, of Global Exchange –all members of the caravan– pointed out that the objective is to demand that the UN have an open dialogue that will give way to alternative policies, emphasizing the extremely high social cost that prohibitionist policy and the war on drugs have had. Respect for human rights and diminishing violence must always be prioritized, they all agreed in their talks.
Meanwhile, the Dominican priest Miguel Concha, the historian and intellectual Adolfo Gilly, and the executive director of the Mexican Commission for Defense and Promotion of Human Rights, José Antonio Guevara, emphasized the enormous importance of this caravan for comprehending what is really behind this “war;” in other words, the interests of the owners of money and political power.
“Enough now of death, violence and of military and police control in the territories and over people,” the priest Miguel Concha said, who questioned why President Enrique Peña Nieto doesn’t attend the UN’s special session especial where the theme of the fight against drugs will be broached, despite the fact that he was the president that asked it go forward.
Adolfo Gilly, for his part, pointed out that: “against the arbitrariness and the autistic craziness of power,” the caravan is recuperating solidarity among the peoples and this collective work transcends borders in the spirit of raising our voice before the death and working for peace, justice and dignity.
During the forum, in the Mexico City Museum, they set forth that this movement, as one of defense of land and territory, forms part of society’s reaction in the face of this phenomenon, which is the “terrible civilizing crisis” that humanity confronts.
Originally Published in Spanish by La Jornada
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Re-Published with English interpretation by the Chiapas Support Committee