Citizen’s Pact for Peace with Justice and Dignity
For more than four years now, our country has suffered a war on drugs that officially does not exist. It is really a war against the people that has cost 40,000 Mexican lives, mostly youths, and another 10,000, also mostly youths, who inhabit the terrifying limbo that authorities have coldly labeled “disappeared.”
For years now, long before this war was declared, the friends and relatives of victims whose voices silenced the violence of a system of corruption and impunity, have again raised their voices to call for justice, to demand that those who took the lives of their loved ones are punished, or that their relatives are returned alive, as they were before disappearing.
These voices have received little attention. Only those that have lived it understand the degree of exasperation, frustration, pain, and criminalization that comes with the tremendous and unequaled task of fighting for justice in this country.
Today, because they are so many and so vehement, these voices–the voices of victims through the voice of their surviving relatives–are starting to coalesce, to find each other, to identify themselves, to understand that, because they are so many, they are in fact one. And this voice has manifested itself with a force fed by pain paradoxically in silence—in the silence of a march called by the poet Javier Sicilia.
And this voice demanded, with its eloquent silence, that things cannot continue like this; that our Mexico must be remade, that the lost foundation on which it once rested must be found again, which has brought us to the point where all Mexicans are victims of institutional and criminal violence.
We are a Mexico that has stood up against the manifold violence that has ripped it apart, torn its fabric of solidarity, devastated the instinctual generosity of its people. We are a Mexico that marches, tired of being fed fear and distrust, when what springs naturally from our people are embraces and celebration. We are a Mexico tired of impunity, crime, and insecurity because day after day we love justice, solidarity and peace.
We are a movement just beginning, but we have history: the pain tied to years of struggle binds us together. We are protesting nationally, setting roots in a great diversity of local battles: women’s fight against femicides; young people’s fight against the violence that deprives them of their rights and even threatens their lives, and against the criminalization that targets them merely for being young; the struggle of human rights defenders; the struggle of rural and urban workers; the struggle of indigenous peoples and communities in defense of their rights, culture and territory; the citizen’s struggle for true democracy; and the struggles of children and those who work with them, so that the country is rebuilt with their rights in mind.
This movement is a means for citizens to demand, to resist and to make proposals—not institutionalized, but diverse and horizontal—to address the specific problems of violence and militarization that turn public security forces against society, especially its women, youth and most vulnerable.
We are movement working toward Peace with Justice and Dignity that, through the victims, whose pain and demands for justice give them moral authority, ethical leadership and a hopeful perspective before this national effort, wants to create spaces to meet and make proposals with other expressions of struggle and resistance.
Therefore, we are a movement that rejects the logic of polarization and the hate that accommodates violence and the culture of militarization and war. Rather, we are based on a horizontal dynamic and politics of solidarity and non-violence.
In the face of the violence devastating the entire country, our movement agrees on today, June 10, 2011–a date that calls to mind the brutal suppression suffered by those young students forty years ago—this CITIZEN’S PACT FOR PEACE WITH JUSTICE AND DIGNITY, with the purpose that victims and citizens carry out strategic and programmatic actions to improve conditions for registering complaints, resistance, and the seeking of justice, as well as the transformation of the dominant militarist concepts, models and strategies that were imposed on us and that we know to be misguided.
Aware of the national crisis and that it is largely due to our dependence on and submission to neighboring imperial interests, and acting from a base of peaceful civil resistance and dialog between citizens, we are committed to expressing the demands, revindications and social proposals as a summons to the powers that be, whether formal or de facto, of the State and Government, not because we have confidence in them or want to legitimize them, but because they are obliged to respond to our ethical call, which is where our strength and identity reside.
Therefore, we understand that this Pact in Movement is not born only to respond to the immediate context but that it must respond to that context, assuming the challenge to strengthen its capacity for alternative proposals. We know that the historic role of the Pact surpasses the immediate mobilizations that could be called or the number of organizations that are participating. In this moment of national emergency, our task and our essence have a qualitative sense due to the demand to rebuild our Mexico, from a perspective of transformation and citizen security with a focus on human rights.
So, after having travelled thousands of kilometers in a long Caravan of Solace, which gathered innumerable voices of indignation, protest and hope along the way, we are gathered here in Juárez, Chihuahua. We are here not just because it is the city that has suffered the most from this irrational war. We are also here because, more than anywhere else, the dignity and resistance of the victims themselves have generated actions that are an example to the nation and light a path toward hope. We have come here for dialog, which we achieved through nine working groups. These groups arrived at the agreements and commitments that constitute this CITIZEN’S PACT FOR PEACE WITH JUSTICE AND DIGNITY.
Table 1. Truth and Justice from the Victims
1. A law that protects the rights of the victims directly affected (the murdered) and indirectly affected (their families)
2. Rights of the citizens to monitor cases
3. Police forces that are efficient, capable, sensitized, and that investigate and conclude cases. They must be obliged to protect the case files.
4. To put an end to the corruption and impunity
5. Obligation that the media fulfills its job ethically
Actions of Resistance:
1. Demonstrations in front of public offices with specific demands
2. The inclusion of civilians and the media as witnesses to processes of investigation
3. Participation of citizens organizations in the monitoring of cases.
4. Monitoring of all levels of government through networks of organizations of human rights and civil defense
5. Promote organization against arbitrariness.
6. The education of civil society of its political and social rights.
7. To demand and influence the media to carry out its job ethically and that it be educational for the society.
Table 2: End to the War Strategy. Citizen Security with a Human Rights Perspective
1. We demand the immediate end to the war strategy, demilitarization of the police, and the return of the army to its barracks, and an end to military immunity from civil courts.
2. We demand that no reform initiative to the Law of National Security be approved; on the contrary, we demand that the legislature develop jointly with society a Law of Social and Citizen Security.
3. We demand that the Merida Initiative be canceled, along with and any other project of police-military advising from the United States, such as the police academy in Puebla.
Actions of Resistance:
1. Carry out concrete actions in solidarity and support to the movement of Cheran and assure the presence of social organizations, especially human rights organizations.
2. Hold a National Forum for Demilitarization and for Peace with Justice and Dignity.
3. Carry out bi-national actions among the people of Mexico and the United States to denounce the militarist strategy of the U.S. government and to demand a stop to the trafficking and purchasing of weapons in Mexico.
Table 3: Corruption and Impunity
1. Revise and integrate a judicial reform to demand the application and strengthening of the existing legal framework.
*2. Create true autonomy for comptrollers/auditors with accountability mechanisms, to avoid the corruption generated from the State being the regulatory body for its own offices.
3. Create citizen-run comptrollers, through citizen consultation, with the option to revoke the mandates of all corrupt officials on all three levels of government.
4. That national government offices are distributed throughout all of Mexican Territory, to avoid the concentration of power in the Federal District.
Actions of Resistance:
1. To cross the 32 states to demand at each of the States Attorney General offices that they meet with the most representative victims, as occurred in Monterrey during the Caravan.
2. To create a symbol that characterizes our movement with the intent to identify ourselves and make ourselves visible to the citizenry.
3. To have a monthly national event with the objective of creating a collective presence to follow up on victims’ cases and application of the national pact.
4. Commercial boycott of corporations that damage environmental rights, that put in danger the lives of different communities in the country, as well as the economic sustenance of small and medium businesses.
5. Tax boycott in the case of the non-fulfillment of the points of the national pact
6. The establishment of a weekly, “No Crossing” on international bridges at the northern border of the country, synchronized by day and hour.
7. An urgent statement from the National Caravan, repudiating the case of Miss Ana, which occurred in this city.
Table 4: The Economic Roots of Organized Crime
Demands and Actions of Civil Resistance:
1. The government must be held accountable and govern with justice and efficacy. If the state does not respect the constitutional framework, we will undertake specific actions of peaceful civil resistance, to assure that citizens, social actors and the state have due access to their rights and fulfill their responsibilities. In this regard, we propose to organize an international campaign against money laundering and the trafficking of weapons; the symbolic occupation of the Bank of Mexico, as it is the regulatory body of the monetary and financial activities of the country, as well as the symbolic occupation of its branches in other parts of Mexico and abroad.
2. To open a forum for a discussion on the decriminalization of the consumption of drugs, not just nationally, but also in international forums.
3. Elimination of banking secrecy, legislate the obligation of banking institutions to inform the Secretary of the Treasury and Public Credit of movements of deposits greater than five hundred thousand pesos.
4. Political judgement of Felipe Calderon, Genaro Garcia Lucia, Javier Lozano and any other public functionary that violates the law and utilizes power for their own benefit. We demand explanations of the fortunes of Carlos Salinas, of all of the ex-presidents and of Elba Esther Gordillo. We want to know the origin of those fortunes.
Table 5: Alternatives for Youth and Measures for the Recuperation and Reconstruction of the Social Fabric
1. To substitute handout policies for social programs that increase the organizational capacity of society.
2. To expand enrollment and the budget in Universities. No more rejections. Obligatory higher education and at all other levels.
3. That the Iberoamericana Convention of Human Rights be promoted, which has yet to be ratified.
4. An emergency wage increase proportional to inflation and to the price of the basic basket of goods and services.
Actions of Resistance:
1. To create a network of Social Centers for Peace with Justice and Dignity.
2. A call for the formation of a National Coalition Against Militarization.
3. A National Congress for an Alternative Model of Education.
4. To create a community radio for the Movement.
Table 6: Democracy Participatory and Representative
1. To have viable and operational mechanisms for popular consultations, plebiscite, referendums and revocation of mandate to be protected from use by political and economic interests. For example, lower the percentages required to call them and use the last vote in the state rather than the eligible voter list.
2.To recuperate autonomous citizen groups like the IFE and institutes in defense of human rights.
3. For urban and rural projects to be subjected to popular consultation, particularly mega-projects.
4. To further advance and promote the free transmission of community radios.
5. To demand more public service content from those granted broadcast licenses (Televisa and TV Azteca), in exchange for their use of public airwaves.
6. To demand greater access to Latin American media like Telesur and Tal that break up monopolies such as CNN.
Actions of Resistance:
1. Actions of resistance/ civil disobedience in the House of Representatives and the Presidency.
2. National Consultation for Peace and Democracy or for a National Re-founding: tables, votes by Internet. Proposed dates of September 13th or 16th, children included. In addition, it is proposed to use the opportunity for gathering testimonies of grievances, disappearances etc.
Table 7: Links and the Organizational Structure of the Movement
The National Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity is an autonomous citizen movement, independent of all political parties and groups, that seeks peace grounded in justice and dignity through inclusive participation. We seek to construct a horizontal, decentralized and democratic structure, formed by local, state and or regional autonomous committees, united through diversity.
We are conscious that there are no definitive or absolute approaches and that we are in a collective, constant process of construction of the country we want, valuing the context and experiences of others through their differences. It is for that reason that those here present recognize the need to widen the discussion on the meaning of civil resistance, a culture of non-violence, peace and democratic values, and the construction of a more just, respectful, plural and inclusive society.
1. That official time in the media (radio and TV) is granted to the movement.
2. That the state creates a victim’s fund financed through property confiscated from organized crime and developed in accordance with the will of the victims themselves.
Actions of Resistance:
1. To organize a caravan to southern Mexico to make visible the problems of marginalization, poverty and other phenomena characteristic of that region
2. To promote actions of civil resistance to confront the federal and local elections of 2012.
3. Undertake actions of national impact such as a commercial boycott or a national strike
4. To organize a national consultation on the War Strategy
5. To create a database of the victims
6. To organize a National Assembly of Victims to create a network of cohesion among them.
Table 8: Labor Reform. Unemployment and Economic Alternatives.
1. Repudiation of all forms of violence against workers, such as the criminalization of their protests.
2. Repudiation of the so-called ‘labor reform’ for its regressive and neoliberal character.
3. We demand the restitution of the labor rights that have been violated by the policies of neoliberal governments.
1. Convene a national assembly to address the problems facing workers.
2. Promote a broad mobilization against the poorly named ‘labor reform.
3. Promote a national worker unionization campaign and the recuperation of workers’ purchasing power
Table 9: Indigenous Rights and Culture, Migration and Rural Alternatives
1. Fulfillment and respect for all agreements signed by the Mexican government with regard to indigenous rights and culture: Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization; the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; and the San Andrés Larrainzar Accords.
2. Complete respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and communities with regard to the totality of their territory and recognition of the ancient possession of said territory
3. The immediate cancellation of the 22 mining concessions in Wirikuta, San Luis Potosí granted by the Federal Government to the Canadian firm First Majestic Silver; immediate cancellation of the mining concessions in the community territory of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities-Community Police, in the Montaña and Costa Chica regions of the State of Guerrero; Respect for the autonomy of Santa María Ostula, Michoacán; Respect for and protection of the forests and territory of Cherán, Michoacán; Respect for the territories of the various indigenous communities in the State of Chihuahua and restitution of invaded lands and the immediate cancellation of tourist, forestry and mining projects that threaten their rights and territory
4. Guarantee peace and human security in the indigenous communities of the Sierra Madre in Durango and Chihuahua, and resolve cases of murder, forced disappearance, the burning of seven entire communities, and the obstruction of community members’ free movement
5.The establishment of a national emergency food program.
1. To carry out an Assembly of National Emergency on the Countryside and Indigenous communities
2. Repeat the signing of the national pact in the States of the Republic
3. Denounce all cases of biopiracy and bioprospecting in the communities
4. Carry out direct actions in Wirikuta, Ostula, Cheran, Durango, Chihuahua and Tamaulipas
The present document was signed at the Monument to Juarez, a national hero that from here began the rescue of the Republic; a task that today we ratify as ours, initiating the re-founding of a Mexico with peace, justice and dignity.
As citizens and social organizations we signed this pact, and we put it to a national consultation for it’s subsequent signing.
Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity
Ciudad Juárez, Chih., June 10th, 2011
Translated by Clayton Conn and Murphy Woodhouse