Saturday, June 22, 2024

Violence in Mexico and the Arms Trade :Ayotzinapa


The stories of Kimberly Rubio and Cristina Bautista cannot be heard without sharing in their pain - the void that exists from losing their children senselessly to gun violence, combined with the pain and rage of systemic inaction. 

In a one-of-its-kind summit, the People's Movement for Peace and Justice (PMPJ) gathered in Washington DC last week as part of the Binational Advocacy Days for Peace & Human Rights, three days of events that included a civil society gathering, a congressional briefing, scores of congressional visits, and a town hall, all featuring survivors of gun violence from the U.S. and Mexico. 

“I am the mother of Benjamin Ascencio Bautista, one of the 43 students in Ayotzinapa that were forcibly disappeared,” said Doña Cristina Bautista. “At first, they blamed the cartels, but then it was proven that the local police and other state actors played a role in the disappearance of my son.”  

“There were 19 children and two teachers murdered on the same day as my daughter. An 18-year-old walked into her building and began murdering students. It took 77 minutes for 376 officers to confront one teenager armed with an assault weapon. They were scared of the guns. It’s the guns. My purpose is to join the gun violence prevention movement to end gun violence. For Lexi Rubio and all victims of gun violence,” said Kimberly Rubio, whose daughter Lexi was among 19 children killed in the massacre at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas. 

At this event in DC, the PMPJ introduced the Binational Agenda for Peace and Justice, which includes ten bold proposals to curb illegal gun and drug trade, humanely address the region’s migration flow, protect the environment, and uphold the rights of Indigenous Peoples. 

Now, We need your help with another important action to help stem the flow of weapons from the U.S. to Mexico!

Earlier this year, the U.S. Commerce Department published an “Interim Final Rule” on gun exports under its jurisdiction and invited members of the public to submit comments until July 1st. While the new rule makes several positive changes, it doesn’t curb some of the worst parts of U.S. gun exports, including exports to human rights violators – from Mexico to Israel. Nor does it put an upper limit on the number of weapons exported to any one country.

Can you take a moment and send a message to comment on the rule, to reduce the use of U.S.-exported weapons in violence and human rights violations around the world?

Last week we were honored to stand-by the survivors of gun violence and to join them in their call to end the flow of weapons to Mexico. Today you have the chance to make your voice heard.  

In Solidarity,

Marco Castillo
Co-Executive Director Global Exchange 

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