On January 26th, the “Walk for Truth, Justice and Peace” ended. It left Cuernavaca, Morelos on January 23rd, with the aim of highlighting violence in the country and demanding justice and a change in the security strategy of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO).
Before moving on to the National Palace, where the mobilization finished, the activists held an event in Chapultepec Park the day before. In the cultural event poets, writers and musicians participated as well as relatives of victims. Apart from testimonies of victims, other artistic activities such as dance, music and poetry were given. “This pause is a call in our walk towards Mexico City so that the country hears the meaning of a proposal for justice, of a correct State policy that really draws a line and the serious map towards peace,” said Javier Sicilia, who convened and led the mobilization together with the brothers Julian and Adrian LeBaron.
The next day, the participants went from Estela de Luz to several monuments, including the Fountain of Diana the Huntress, walking silently and taking off a shoe on the last kilometer to commemorate the massacre suffered by the LaBaron family last November. Nine family members were killed in an ambush. The only survivor, Mackenzie, had to walk ten kilometers after removing one of her shoes because of blisters until she found help. “All Mexicans have blood on our hands and on our feet, we have all been complicit, in silence, of this massacre, and here we are to say that we are no longer going to be silent, we will no longer permit that they sell us the future so dearly, that they do not solve anything of the past and ask us for more patience while our families are cannon fodder of all the stupidities that the institutions do”, commented Julian LeBaron. He added that “maybe we lose our lives by raising our voices, we don’t know, but I am sure that if we all join together, Mexicans, to defend life, we can all together, but no more dividing ourselves into political parties, no more dividing ourselves into social classes, ´fifis´ and ´charos´ and everything else, the theme is Mexico, the theme is life.”
They then passed through the (anti) monument for the 43 disappeared Ayotzinapa stdent teachers. “Today the parents of the 43, many victims of this country, tell you that we give you a combative greeting, and also tell you that we are also with you in your pain, in your struggle, day by day, that you are not alone, that we are with you, because the pain that you bring is the same pain of the mothers, fathers and relatives of the 43 of Ayotzinapa,” said a spokesman for the relatives.
Later, they passed through the Zocalo, where they not only had a rally, but also counter-protest with people shouting “out”, “go to the United States”, “traitors” and “it is an honor to be with Obrador”, among other slogans. While at the rally, Sicilia announced that “it is time to put a real stop to so much pain, death, humiliation, so many lies” and that “we must not repeat the past. That past has destroyed us and continues to destroy us. You have to create the new that preserves life. A true and authentic transformation of the country must be based on truth, justice and peace.”
The last destination of the walk was the Parliament. There they delivered a flag with impacts of bullets drawn to the Security Cabinet with the words “fix this country, return the flag clean”. In addition, a commission on the walk was received by lawmakers from PRI, PAN, PRD, MC and Emilio Alvarez Icaza (independent legislator). Legislators of MORENA did not participate in the event because according to the coordinator of the party, Ricardo Monreal, they had “other commitments”. According to the commission, there was no dialogue with the legislators, they just delivered their transitional justice proposal with the hope that the president will read it.
AMLO had already declared days before that he was not going to meet the activists of the walk and this was strongly criticized by several civil organizations. The Peace Movement went directly to AMLO and showed its disappointment “that you reduce the national emergency and the humanitarian tragedy of the country to a “show”, to a “spectacle”, to “propaganda management”, that you think we intend to harm with it “the presidential investiture”. “This atrocious reality of the highest priority for the country must be taken on by the president, through a State policy based on extraordinary mechanisms for Truth and Justice, which surpass the security cabinet and that only the president can assume,” it concluded.
For more information in Spanish:
Caminata por la paz: Senadores de Morena no asisten para recibir propuesta de justicia transicional (Animal político el 26 de enero de 2020)
Carta abierta de Javier Sicilia a Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Javier Sicilia el 26 de enero de 2020)
Caminata por la paz, atacada con gritos de “traidores” y “es un honor estar con Obrador” (Aristegui Noticias el 26 de enero de 2020)
Caminata por la paz exige fin a tanto dolor (El Universal el 27 de enero de 2020)
Miembros de la ‘Caminata por la paz’ envían iniciativa a gobierno; rechazan reunión con Gabinete de Seguridad (Vanguardia el 27 de enero de 2020)
For more information from SIPAZ:
Oaxaca/Nacional: Nuevas agresiones a periodistas; se modificará mecanismo de protección, Encinas (9 de diciembre de 2019)
National: Rosario Ibarra de Piedra Sworn in as New President of CNDH (November 15, 2019)
National: One Year of AMLO Presidency (December 5, 2019)
Mexico: March “Steps for Peace” (August 19, 2011)