June 6, 2011 by tristan savage
In the rising movement against the Drug War in Mexico, Julian LeBaron has emerged as a representative of the Mormon community in Chihuahua, Mexico. In July 2009, his brother Benjamin and brother-in-law Luis were murdered by assassins in retaliation for their work in organizing Chihuahuan communities to resist the frequent kidnappings perpetrated by narco-traffickers in the area.
Now, Julian has joined poet Javier Sicilia (whose son was found murdered earlier this year) in a caravan from Cuernavaca to Mexico City and eventually to Ciudad Juarez to demand an end to the Drug War and the militarization of their country. The Zapatistas in Chiapas have joined in the campaign, filling San Cristobal de Las Casas on May 7th with 20,000 rebels “against neoliberalism and for humanity.” And they have also been joined by several US-based organizations struggling against violence and government repression. The caravan continues this week and will end in Ciudad Juarez on June 10th. These were his remarks yesterday in San Luis Potosi, courtesy of Narco News:
Good afternoon, San Luis Potosí. It is an honor to be here in front of you and to say a few words.
Julian LeBaron reads from his handwritten notes in San Luis Potosí on the second day of the Caravan of Solace toward Ciudad Juárez. DR 2011 Tyler Stringfellow.
My name is Julian LeBaron. I’m from Northwest Chihuahua and I am here because I have seen a lot of violence. They killed my brother and when I saw that Javier Sicilia was doing something after they killed his son, I wanted to be part of a solution and I would like to speak with you a little bit about violence.
The violence is not in things. It is not something artificial. The violence is not in the guns or in the drugs. The violence is within us. The institutions, the government, the Army and the police are also citizens and are not things outside of humanity. Every one of us has our responsibility in this struggle. We created the violence, every day, or we make it stop existing. And only together can we end it.
I am convinced that we have to review our daily lives. That’s where it begins. Because the violence hides in the small details that become invisible and, later on, devour us. The bullets, the blood, the decapitated heads started out as shouts and insults and disrespect for the elemental minimum of care that all of us human beings need. My hope is that this caravan becomes a seed of Mexican men and women who made history with a message of brotherhood in the middle of tragedy.
This caravan is capable of inspiring more than 100 million to want to march with us and to live.
Long live Mexico and San Luis Potosí.