Tear Down the Walls Mexico Delegation, March 10-20, 2017: While Trump demands Mexico build us a border wall, the US is Building Prison Walls in Mexico—What’s going on?

lovatopicThe United States is building walls and militarizing both the US-Mexico border and Mexico’s southern border. The US is also building prison walls throughout Mexico and militarizing police as living walls to repress and reign in popular movements. When Mexican police fire on striking teachers and normal school students, they’re using weapons made in the USA. When indigenous and labor activists are locked away as political prisoners, they’re locked away in US funded jail cells. The Alliance for Global Justice Tear Down the Walls Mexico delegation will visit with indigenous and labor leaders, family and supporters of political prisoners, ex-political prisoners, anti-torture activists and experts on police, border and prison militarization. We will investigate US prison imperialism in Mexico and relate that to similar programs in other parts of the world.

For an application or more information contact: Delegations@AFGJ.org or call 202-540-8336, ext. 3.

Our investigations will not be neutral. AfGJ has established itself as the expert on US prison imperialism and we are part of a broad national and international movement against border walls and police abuses. We know which side of the walls we’re on—the side that’s tearing them down! Our two goals will be to learn and, more importantly, to apply what we learn. We will work with our partners to build a broad front against Washington’s and the US and Mexico’s oligarchies as they try to lock us into a future of misery for the many and mega-profits for the few.

We will also pay special attention to the role of Colombian advisors who are training tens of thousands of Mexican military, police and prison officials. Colombia has acted as a proxy for the US in Mexico to do what the US cannot do openly. It is very worrisome that Donald Trump has chosen General John Kelly to head up the Department of Homeland Security. Kelly, who currently oversees the US Southern Command said of Colombia, “The beauty of having a Colombia – they’re such good partners….When we ask them to go somewhere else and train the Mexicans, the Hondurans, the Guatemalans, the Panamanians, they will do it almost without asking. And they’ll do it on their own….But that’s why it’s important for them to go, because I’m–at least on the military side–restricted from working with some of these countries because of limitations that are, that are really based on past sins. And I’ll let it go at that.”

Well, General Kelly, we aren’t letting it go at that. AfGJ is working with our partners in Mexico and Colombia to tear down your walls of oppression.

Our delegation will begin in Tucson, Arizona where we will hold a forum on The Drug War: Today’s Big Lie. We will examine how this so-called war is being used to justify the border wall, police militarization and mass incarceration in the US, Mexico and around the world. The next day we will tour border “security” installations and the wall on the US side before crossing into Sonora to visit the town of Cananea. There we will meet with striking miners and their families who will tell us how they have been affected by the issues we’re studying. From Cananea, we will travel to the state capitol of Hermosillo, where we will meet with leaders of the teachers union and hear about their successful struggle to free their political prisoners from Cefereso #11. We also hope to visit the prison itself, the first private, for-profit prison in Mexico, built with US funding and designs. We will then travel to Oaxaca, which has been ground zero for the teachers union struggles. In Oaxaca we will visit an indigenous village, meet with a variety of popular movement leaders as well as take some tourist time to visit the incredible archaeological site of Monte Alban. We will finish the delegation in Mexico City with a series of meetings with experts on prison and police militarization as well as activists defending the rights of undocumented immigrants from Central America.

Throughout the delegation we will be asking the question, “What’s really going on?” and “What can we do about it?” We will examine closely the curious relationship between the US and Mexican capitalist class. Remember when candidate Donald Trump went to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto? What was notable was how well the two got along while managing to sidestep that nasty subject of the border wall Trump wants the Mexicans to pay for. Seriously—what’s going on? The truth is that the US and Mexican oligarchies have always mostly gotten along. And the governments they buy are like twins joined at the hip (where the pocket is). In Mexico, presidential election after election is stolen from the Center-Left. In the US, it’s no secret that the man “elected” actually lost the popular vote by more than 2 ½ million votes. What can we do about that? We can organize and we can mobilize. And we can realize that we the people must unite across borders to build our own wall of resistance. And that, friends, is what this delegation is all about.

The cost of the delegation is $1,400 and includes all in-country flights from Hermosillo to Oaxaca and from Oaxaca to Mexico City, all delegation-related land travel, lodging, meals, translation services and other delegation related costs. Our hosts in Mexico will be the Peoples Human Rights Observatory and the Mexican League in Defense of Human Rights.