Border residents demand an end to drug-war violence

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SUNDLAND PARK, N.M. — Without crossing the U.S.–Mexico line, demonstrators from the two nations gathered January 29 on both sides of the border fence at Anapra on the Mexican side and Sunland Park on the U.S. side to rail against the violence in Juarez that has killed thousands in the past four years.

Peace was the common chant at both sides of the border on the Día de Acción (Saray Argumedo/Borderzine.com)

Peace was the common chant at both sides of the border on the Día de Acción (Saray Argumedo/Borderzine.com)

The drug-spawned violence has moved the El Paso community to take a stand along their neighbors to show that the city under siege is not alone. “No more spattered blood. No más sangre,” they shouted. The chants for peace and justice on each side of the border pervaded the atmosphere that Saturday morning. The pounding drums set the tempo for poetry and passionate speeches that vibrated with desperation but also with hope.

Paz y Justicia Sin Fronteras, the El Paso non-profit that organized the Día de Acción event to unite the communities on both sides of the border against the violence gathered more than 600 persons for the event. Christy Garcia and Ana Morales, both graduates of the University of Texas at El Paso, organized the protest. “While organizing this event, I wasn’t sure who was going to support us,” said Morales. “We were amazed. I never realized how much our people really cared.”

José Antonio Espino (Saray Argumedo/Borderzine.com)

José Antonio Espino (Saray Argumedo/Borderzine.com)

José Antonio Espino, a Ciudad Juarez resident and activist, said he lives in fear, yet his faith doesn’t stop him from fighting for justice. Like Espino many Juarenzes are grateful for the support from El Paso and from UTEP students. “We had over 30 families in my colonia and these men invaded and scared my people away. Some were killed and some left their homes in fear leaving only 13 families,” said Espino.

“You all are our weapons, with your technology you can help us plead for help at the national level,” Espino said. “Ustedes son nuestras armas. Con su tecnología pueden gritar a nivel mundial.”

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