A letter from Evalejandra Chavez, SOAW Activante in Mexico Print

To all of you who are School of the Americas Watch activists
To all of you who dream to end the U.S politics of war and terror
To all of you who stand for a continent free from militarization
To all of you who cry out for justice

Receive this message of urgency from Mexico City.

As a child who happened to be raised on a house that had a front window to the US-Mexican border, it has been impossible to ignore the real meaning behind what seems to be a simple word: militarization. Through that window I observed how innocent men and women were treated by U.S officials as if they were something else, except humans. Until this day I can not find a reasonable explanation to what my eyes witnessed day after day. It was behind that window that I saw and felt how deadly U.S power can be. As a child what surprised me the most was that everyone seemed to have a reason to justify or find normal what I found repugnable. That now continues to happen, as governments manipulate reality in order for us to accept and celebrate  a war that is in fact not against the evil drug cartels as they tell us, but against the most valuable men a women in Mexico who are willing to risk their lives to fight for that which the government under the imposition of neoliberal reforms wants to take away: their land, their resources, their security, their integrity, their dignity. Through this model of war, in Mexico, those who resist are at risk of being exterminated. 

My name is Evalejandra Chávez, and for the next six months I’ll be the SOAW Activante in Mexico, a country in which, via security agreement called the Merida Initiative. the United States has financed, equipped, and trained the Mexican military forces as they act against Mexico's own people. As many of you may know we are now trapped in a nightmare where forced disappearances, summary ejections and torture at the hands of the security forces has become a norm, with all impunity.

The Initiative Merida has proven to be a security model THAT IS NOT WORKING, that is causing a humanitarian crisis, and for which it  NEEDS TO STOP!

I had the opportunity to join the SOAW delegation that took place in México. We traveled to Chiapas and Guerrero where we confirmed that people who are organized, such as the students in Ayotzinapa and the community police in Olinala, Guerrero are facing a real and lethal risk.

That is why the work I’ll be doing during this activantia will be mainly focused on denouncing the cruel effects of the U.S. backed militarization calling for the Merida Initiative to stop, as well as celebrating the organized people who are standing up against militarization, such as the community police, a successful autonomous security model rooted on indigenous concepts of justice, which has proven to be a legitimate alternative for communities.  The community police efforts in Guerrero and Michoacán have proven that they can maintain a safe community without military intervention; they have proven that in Mexico real security is not at the hands of the state. The police community needs to be protected at all costs because through their community efforts they confirm that the Merida Initiative, with all its financing and training of "security" forces is not necessary! In fact, they have exposed the lie that supports this war: In México the military forces trained and armed by the U.S are not fighting the organized crime but are protecting it, they are part of it. With this truth revealed the war against drugs has no rationale.

However, the police community presents to be a real threat for the interests that benefit from the expansion of the war.  General Gurrola, the head of security in the state of Michoacan, a former SOAW graduate, has publicly declared a strategy against police communities, which means they are at risk.  I believe that as a anti-militarization movement it is our responsibility to call for freedom for the members of the community police who are imprisoned for standing up precisely against organized crime. For that my work during this Activantia will go hand in hand with the struggle for their liberty.  In a country where hopelessness goes with the everyday catastrophe, the community police seems to be a spark of hope that true security can be achieved by organized communities.  It is important to support efforts to get them out of jail, so they can be back to their communities and can continue their fight against organized crime and continue to stop projects that are a threat to their communities. 

Currently, there are at least 10 community police members of Guerrero in Jail. August 21, 2015 will be the 2 year anniversary of unjust and arbitrary imprisonment of Nestora Salgado, a community police leader of Olinalá, Guerrero. Some of their names of other community police from Guerrero who are political prisoners: Gonzalo Molina, Arturo Campos, Bernardino García Francisco, Ángel García García, Eleuterio García Carmen, Abad Francisco Ambrosio, Florentino García Castro, Benito Morales Bustos, Rafael García Guadalupe, José Leobardo Maximino, Antonio Cano Morales, Samuel Ramírez Gálvez

Would you like to be part of this struggle for their liberty? If you would like to receive more information about the different cases and be part of an action group to respond to different situations in Mexico as they arise please join here. I will send alerts to this group at times when it would be helpful to have people contact officials and demand justice.

Without doubt, we have a responsibility with our mexican brothers and sisters who are being disappeared, and to those whose lives are being taking away, and whose bodies are being tortured with the tax dollars that American citizens pay.  It is time to unite our efforts because we are living in a state of emergency in Mexico.  If we don't do anything to stop the Merida Iniative, the horror will continue. 

I look forward to working together as a movement that seeks to stop the massacres, disappearances, and murders of the Mexican people -- and all people -- by security forces that are trained and armed by the United States.  I would love to be in contact with you to share ideas or talk about how we can stop this war.  Feel free to be in touch with me at Evalejandra @ soaw.org.

For a hemisphere free from militarization!
Contra el olvido y la impunidad, memoria y resistencia.

You can follow my work at:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/SOAWMexico
Twitter: twitter.com/SOAWatch_Mexico