From March 28 until April 19, 2016, a diverse group of people from different nationalities (victims of violence stemming from drug trafficking and the equally violent actions seeking to reduce it accompanied by defenders of human rights, journalists, community leaders and religious, and activists;) they will meet to undertake a “Caravan for peace, life and justice” that will travel overland Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico and the United States, to get to New York in the framework of the Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on Drugs.
Given the humanitarian crisis that underlies the war on drugs in countries like Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and many others where the victims in the hundreds of thousands, and adds to the pain of the families affected in various ways by violence stemming from drug trafficking and the fight to contain it, questions arise as it worth so much pain? Is not it obvious just understand that we should open the debate to new approaches and other perspectives? Why insist on strategies that have proven to be counterproductive?
So it was between August and September 2012 a hundred people -in their great survivors majority, and relatives of people killed or disappeared in the “war on drugs” [1], they traveled more than 11,000 kilometers by 14 states making stops in 27 cities in the United States with the purpose of creating ties of solidarity among victims beyond national boundaries, making visible the human drama behind a war that only causes pain and death, and influence open a necessary broad dialogue to change drug policies from each country and globally.
In the Caravan of 2012 they came together various organizations, such as farmers, activists, artists, and people who found the opportunity to discuss and share their grief, heal their wounds look understanding that there are irreparable pain like losing family members violently. Among the many faces of the Caravan was Javier Sicilia, Mexican recognized poet who very directly suffered the pain of the loss of his own son, and promoted dialogue with instances of the Mexican government and the United States.
Today, hundreds of thousands of people who have suffered the consequences of these policies call for a halt to violence and require regional daily the end of the war and the beginning of reconciliation. That is why relatives of victims, social movements and organizations in Latin America and the United States, call for a broad and inclusive regional initiative to put a stop to the war on drugs.
Based on previous experiences, like the three Caravans Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity that toured the north and south of Mexico and the United States as well as many other initiatives for 2016, as part of the new summit UNGASS in New York again and now more broadly, with other voices and new faces, crossing this time a way that integrates symbolically fraternal peoples of Latin America, from Honduras, through El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico to complete New York just before the Assembly.
The Caravan is proposed as a open, plural and diverse collective space where different views that match both the urgency to halt a war that only creates victims and denies the possibility of living in peace and the need to foster new approaches realistically to address the drug phenomenon.