Mexico

A team of Mexican journalists, activists and researchers have made a documentary on the role of the Mexican military in the forced disappearance of 43 students from the Mexican town of Ayotzinapa, Iguala in September 2014. The trailer can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQolfFfKWjU and there will be a simultaneous worldwide screening on the 26th July.

Militarism is guns, armored tanks and drones, but it’s also a state of mind. Militarised mentalities have permeated many police forces and amplified dramatically the force of police violence against our communities.

Ainhoa Ruiz Benedicto

The 3,169 km of the US-Mexico border line has become an insurmountable, heavily militarised and controlled barrier. The deployment of security forces, border controls and weaponry is very similar to that of two countries in a state of armed tension. There is not a single section of this boundary that is free of steel fences, surveillance cameras, blackhawk helicopters, Predator drones; or border patrol, immigration and customs protection officers, whose presence has doubled in the last six years to reach 25,000 agents.

Pedro Rios

On May 28, 2015, in San Diego, California, hundreds gathered for an evening rally and march to commemorate the National Day of Action to Stop Border Brutality. The San Diego activity was part of a coordinated set of non-violent actions where organizations at nine cities across the United States convened various events to raise their voices against increased impunity by border agents who have been implicated in at least 39 deaths since 2010. Led by the Southern Border Communities Coalition, comprised of over 65 organizations working along the US-Mexico border, the coordinated rallies, marches, and film screenings also highlighted the 5th year anniversary of the death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, a father of five who in 2010 was tortured to death by over a dozen border agents at the San Ysidro Port-of-Entry in San Diego.

On March 25th 2015, in Casa Museo de la Memoria Indomita, Mexico City, two peace activists closely connected to WRI (Igor Seke from Serbia/Mexico and Julian Ovalle from Colombia) will present the 2nd edition of WRI's Handbook for Nonviolent Campaigns. They will also talk about the CO as a way to resist war in Colombia, and how the international solidarity with conscientious objectors works in that country. The host of this event is Comité Eureka! from Mexico, which works on cases of forced disappearances for over 40 years.

This event coincides with the crowdfunder campaign for the Spanish translation of the second edition of the Handbook; WRI is raising money to complete the translation - there are just nine days left to go! See https://goteo.org/project/campanas-noviolentas for more information.

By Igor Seke

The 'War against Drugs' erupted in Mexico at the end of 2006 when Felipe Calderón, just 10 days into his presidency, launched the joint operation 'Michoacán' to fight organised crime. It has resulted in at least 60,000 deaths from executions, confrontations between gangs of narcotrafficers and battles with federal forces.

Susi Bascon

During the last three years, Peace Brigades International (PBI) has been providing an international presence in Mexico for human rights defenders whose lives and political space have been under threat as a result of their struggle for human rights. At the request of local NGOs, PBI set up two teams of international volunteers: one in Mexico City and one in the state of Guerrero.

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Police militarisation country profiles