Mexico’s president Andrés Manuel López Obrador recently made two announcements that could finally close the bloodiest chapter in the history of the United States’ global war on drugs. He called for ending the Merida Initiative—the 3 billion-dollar US counternarcotics aid package that has fueled Mexico’s drug war—and announced a pivot from prohibition.
More than twenty-five years since the femicides of Juarez came to light, today throughout Mexico women are disappeared and murdered on a daily basis. The government reports that there are currently more than 9,000 disappeared women on the national registry of missing persons and that figure is probably much higher due to underreporting.
The families will not stop organizing even if the government begins to do what needs to be done to resolve disappearance and forced disappearance in the country. Their movement doesn’t seek only human remains: it seeks the transformation of society from below.
On Dec. 7, Mexican organizations in defense of migrants’ rights held a press conference announcing their opposition to an agreement with the Trump administration, such as “Third Safe Country” or “Remain in Mexico” being negotiated between the two governments, in an Open Letter to the Mexican government. On Dec. 20, Donald Trump announced a plan to deport asylum-seekers who entered the United States through Mexico to await decisions in their cases on Mexican soil. The government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador accepted the plan, which is essentially the “Remain in Mexico” agreement referred to in this Letter.
Nearly a million young people marched for their lives on March 24 in Washington DC and cities throughout the nation. They railed against the fact that in the wealthiest country in the world, youth no longer feel secure in their schools, their neighborhoods and their daily lives, and demonstrated against the politics that promotes the death industry over their survival.
Every year around 40,000 and teenagers go missing in Brazil while the virtual database only shows 400 kids. From January to September of 2015 in Rio de Janeiro alone, 2,282 cases of missing persons were reported, a 16% increase in relation to 2014.