No more death. No more blood. Sounds like a simple enough request, doesn’t it?
Actually it seems kind of silly to even have to ask for that. Shouldn’t that just be a given? Aren’t we allowed the right to live without fear of being killed, or our family members being killed? Yet it is exactly what “Red por la Paz y Justicia” is asking for. “No Más Muertes.”
Imagine having to ask for that. Seriously. Imagine actually needing to plead for the end of organized murders in your town. Imagine having to plead for a small amount of safety for you and your family.
Do it. I’ll wait.
Can you imagine it? It was hard wasn’t it? It was hard for me. But it isn’t hard for many people here. It is an ever-present reality. In a town not so far from Cuernavaca, people are killed almost daily. It was told to our group during my site visit that one person said “I would rather have one day of peace and die, than live forever in this kind of fear.” On the northern border, Ciudad Juarez has become one of the most violent cities in the world due to the fighting among drug cartels and military. The violence isn’t constrained to just those two groups. It also spills onto the street, killing innocent bystanders, people who saw too much, journalists, and sometimes even the families of any of those people in the wrong place at the wrong time. Where is the justice in this? Right now, for Mexico, there is none.
The call for “No más muertes” should resonate with you. It should make your stomach jump and your eyes tear up. This is not just a general hope of Mexico! It is a cry filled with pain and sadness. It is a cry filled with dead sons and daughters, dead mothers and fathers, dead sisters and brothers. It is a cry filled with anger and despair. It is a cry from the living that this must not happen anymore. It is a cry from the mother, the father who lost their child that others need not go through the same pains. “No más muertes, no más sangre” should hit you like a ton of bricks.
Yet while these words carry emotions from the past, they are a hope for the future. A hope that peace can be restored and justice be given to the families and people of Mexico. Not only justice in the legal sense, but the restoration of human dignity, both for those alive and those killed. The restoration of human dignity. Justice. Peace. Both things that Jesus worked for in his lifetime.
It is for these reasons that today, on September 9th, “Red por la Paz y Justicia” begins its first miles on a Caravan to the south. On their 14 buses and 10 cars they carry not just people and luggage, but the message of peace and hope for a Mexico free from violence. They carry with them the hope for “No more death; No more blood”. They want peace and justice.
I had the honor of observing their stop in Cuernavaca’s zócalo –the central square-- today. It was powerful. The crowd numbered in the several hundred. Javier Sicilia’s words moved people. (If you don’t remember, he is the poet whose son was killed back in March and set off this whole movement.) The experience was absolutely wonderful to be able to watch. People carried signs with loved ones on them, signs of having enough of war. I am eager to hear about the rest of the caravan as it progresses southward toward the border. I know that this message they carry is one Mexico needs. To know that somebody cares about the horrors being committed around them.
Let us hope today with Mexico. Hope for a future of peace, justice, and love. One where everyone can live without fear of violence. A future that gives each person dignity and where the reminder of God’s love for the world is present in all of our actions.
Blessings and Peace,
P.S. Please watch this video as it is a woman who tells her story from the last caravan. If you have troubles watching it on my blog, click here.