Mexican Human Rights Defenders Continue to be Targeted by Armed Groups
Witness for Peace was first invited to Mexico by the Chiapas organization Las Abejas, after the Acteal Massacre in 1997. Ever since, we have had a presence in the neighboring country to the United States. With the implementation of NAFTA in 1994, over 2 million Mexican farming jobs were lost. The economic devastation led to a boom in Mexican migration towards the U.S. Although immigration is often discussed in the U.S., strikingly absent from the debate is recognition of the fact that U.S. policies are propelling migration. At the Collective, we connect, document, and expose the connections between trade policies and immigration through delegations, documentary work,media outreach, and activist trainings.
Since 2008, we have become increasingly concerned with the role of the U.S. in the Drug War. Through the Mérida Initiative, the United States has now allocated over 2.4 billion dollars in military aid to Mexican security forces. This militarized approach has led to thousands of deaths and disappearances of civilians, journalists, activists, and human right defenders, high levels of insecurity, and a spike in human rights abuses committed by military personnel, all without achieving the supposed goal of diminishing the drug trade. As Mexicans call for the restoration of peace and justice, the Collective provides analysis of the U.S. role in this war and mobilizes U.S. citizens to stand in solidarity with Mexican society.