Sunday, September 2, 2012


Javier Sicilia, 55 y.o., Catholic poet turned leader--His story
You may have heard that 60,000 Mexican citizens have died in the past 6 years as the “War on Drugs” has escalated.  You probably haven’t heard of Javier Sicilia, Mexican Catholic poet professor who lost his 24 year old son, assassinated by the drug merchants in 2005.  Javier has led his people on long caravans pleading for an end to this violent war, in which criminals and authorities are locked in struggle and profit—the bodies of bystanders piled ever higher.   The war on drugs is newly militarized.  Firepower escalates on both sides of the battle.  Now Señor Sicilia leads a bi-national Peace Caravan from Tijuana across the USA to Washington D.C.   My priest friend in Chiapas, a champion of justice himself, says this may be the next Martin Luther King.
Violence has become an epidemic across our border, as the marketplace for illegal drugs and hi-power weapons mushrooms, supply and demand provided mostly in US dollars.  And the U.S. Army and CIA are newly on Mexican soil [partnering with the DEA], raising old specters of the sovereignty question.  Most of the bloodshed is on Mexican ground.
Javier Sicilia with assault weapon that's just been sawn in half during current U.S. caravan
The “Fast and Furious” controversy, which accused the Obama Justice Department for tracing some guns as they went across the border which came back to kill a DEA agent, ignored the point that Arizona and other states hemorrhage massive amounts guns and ammunition into Mexico daily, because of our historically permissive gun laws.  Was tracing some of them a bad idea?

From the definitive Fortune magazine article on the issue [long, but please read entire]:
 The Mexican government has estimated that 2,000 weapons are smuggled daily from the U.S. into Mexico. The ATF is hobbled in its effort to stop this flow. No federal statute outlaws firearms trafficking within the U.S., so agents must build cases using a patchwork of often toothless laws. ...  By 2009 the Sinaloa drug cartel had made Phoenix its gun supermarket and recruited young Americans as its designated shoppers or straw purchasers.

o counter this deluge of violence and drugs, a Caravan for Peace comes to us from Mexico.  A poet cries out to us in the name of his son and countless dead, Stop the War on Drugs, estamos hasta la madre!  {Virgin Mary we’re at the end of our rope!}  I hope to join them in Chicago tomorrow, Labor Day, and accompany to Cleveland [their northern part of the U.S. journey].  May we hear their cries, and find the courage to invest in nonviolent solutions to the many threats we feel surround us.  No more scorpions when our children ask for bread.  Seek ye first the nonviolent kingdom of God, all else will be given to us.
On Caravan with La Virgen de Guadalupe in Mexico
Illumination by Kathey Brahney

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