Created as a tribute to Mexico’s #YaMeCansé global movement, a #USTired2 mobilization calling for peace in Mexico launched this morning, campaign organizers told Latino Rebels. The group has identified December 3, 2014 as the day of demonstrations and rallies in at least 43 US cities to represent the 43 Ayotzinapa students.
Organizers said that their focus will be to call more national attention to “Plan Mexico” (also known as the Mérida Initiative). The U.S. State Department reports that the “U.S. Congress has appropriated $2.1 billion since the Merida Initiative began in Fiscal Year 2008.” Critics of Plan Mexico insist that such a policy has been tragic for Mexico. As one 2011 post explains:
The Mérida Initiative ignores two major root causes of drug trafficking: U.S. demand and poverty in Mexico.
Widespread drug use in the U.S. makes drug trafficking a lucrative venture. U.S.-designed trade policies such as NAFTA exacerbate Mexico’s impoverishment. Currently 50 million people live in poverty in Mexico. Deeply impoverished and unemployed people in Mexico have three options for survival: migration, tenuous and often dangerous work in the informal economy, and crime. In such conditions, organized crime and drug traffickers find easy prey amongst Mexico’s poor.
Not one penny of Plan Mexico money is dedicated toward drug prevention or rehabilitation programs in the U.S., nor has there been complementary domestic legislation to reduce demand in the U.S., although Hillary Clinton acknowledges that the “insatiable demand for drugs” in the U.S. “fuels the drug trade.”
It is estimated that 90% of weapons used by drug cartels come from the U.S.
A military strategy similar to Plan Mexico has failed to produce results in Colombia. Through Plan Colombia, the U.S. has spent over $5.6 billion on military aid and coca fumigations. After a decade of trying to stamp out the coca supply, more Colombian farmers are planting coca today than before Plan Colombia began. Military solutions to social problems are proven to fail.
To many, Ayotzinapa is just the latest example of such a failed policy. Follow #USTired2 for the latest updates.