Results of our Meeting with President Calderón

Regions: Mexico

Issues: Impunity, Rape and sexual abuse, Violence against women

Tags: Chihuahua, ciudad juarez, feminicide, feminicidio, President Calderón

BACKGROUND: Read the series of posts about our trip to Mexico City to meet with President Calderón to urge him to end feminicide in Mexico:

* 03/19: Preparing for Mexico

* 03/24: What we'll be asking President Calderón

* 03/27: Behind the scenes: last minute preparations

* 03/30: Press Conference

The time had come for the meeting we'd been planning for weeks. After a soundcheck for his concert later in the evening, Peter Gabriel, his wonderfully patient tour manager and I arrived at Los Pinos, the official residences and offices of the President of Mexico. We were met by Saúl Hernández of Jaguares, my colleague Tamaryn Nelson (WITNESS), Diego Luna, María Sirvent Bravo-Ahuja (WITNESS Partner Comision Mexicana), Patricia Cervantes (Neyra's mom) and others helping to make this meeting a sucess. We were all escorted into Los Pinos and seated in a beautiful waiting room.

The Attorney General of the State of Mexico unexpectedly walked in our waiting area, along with the Minister of the Interior and the Mexican Ambassador to the US. We all conversed for some time before Tamaryn, Peter, Patricia, Saúl, Diego and Maria were escorted into the President's office. The doors to our waiting area were closed as "The President was arriving." I saw the trees shake, and heard his helicopter land, then he walked past our doors into the room where the rest of our team waited for him.

I stayed in the waiting room with the others, and we were joined by the First Lady, Margarita Zavala. We spent a lot of time talking - as the issue of Juárez is one close to her heart.  She was extremely open and I am grateful for the opportunity to have spent that time with her.  We gave her a copy of "Dual Injustice" and a few WITNESS t-shirts for her children and family. The Presidential meeting was supposed to last 30 minutes but one hour later they were still talking.  I have never before seen a smile as big as I saw on Patricia's face when she walked out of Los Pinos.

 

THE OUTCOMES:
During the meeting, President Calderón suggested that participating NGO's provide him with a list of priorities related to feminicide and that authorities meet with these NGO's periodically to review progress on these issues. He also committed to make this process transparent to the general public, within the confines of legal proceedings.

The Attorney General and the Minister of the Interior also both committed to personally follow up on the cases of Neyra and her cousin David.

Here is a link to the press release from the President's Office.

 

 

THE HOPE:
One could actually feel the collective hope that was somehow regained in this one day. It was a monumental moment for all who have worked on this campaign - to see hope return to Patricia's eyes and to know that the Attorney General said that he personally would make sure that there is follow up on her daughter's case. There was expressed political will to work together.

But it didn't stop there: Tamaryn, Peter, and I, along with Peter's tour manager raced back to the car, back with the motorcade to Foro Sol (the location of Peter's concert), writing the press release along the way. Peter whipped out his Flip camera and we recorded the moment for posterity.  We finished the release, translated it into Spanish and sent it out literally 2 minutes before Peter's set began.

It was the perfect end to an unforgettable day. Peter and the collective effort of this amazing team brought the voices of thousands of people to the President of the Republic of Mexico.  The mothers and families of the disappeared and murdered in Juárez and Chihuahua are not alone. Their voices and the voices of thousands of others who care about this issue were heard today. 

It can get fatiguing to fight for justice and feel like you are very rarely seeing real change. What occurred in Mexico City on March 27th injected energy into this campaign and helped us feel strong enough to keep working towards justice in Juárez and Chihuahua.

Peter Gabriel wrote in his song "Biko", "You can blow out a candle, But you can't blow out a fire. Once the flames begin to catch, the wind will blow it higher." We saw living proof of that in Mexico this past week.  Thank you so much for your support in helping us keep this candle burning. 

 

 

 

 


Comments

Medyum

QUE PERSONAS EXTRANJERAS LES PREOCUPE EL DESTINO DE ESTE PAIS, ME DA MUCHO ORGULLO QUE GENTE COMO SAUL HERNANDEZ Y DIEGO LUNA, SE DEN TIEMPO PARA ALZAR LA VOZ JUNTO A PATRICIA CERVANTES, QUE SUFRE POR LA PERDIDA DE SU HIJA Y QUE LAS LEYES DE ESTE PAIS NO LE HAGAN JUSTICIA, OJALA Y NO ESTE MUY LEJANO EL DIA EN QUE LAS AUTORIDADES ESCLARESCAN QUE HA PASADO Y QUIEN O QUIENES SON LOS RESPONSABLES DE ESTA BARBARIE, TAL PARECE QUE LOS QUE LO HACEN NACIERON DEL SUELO, QUE NO TIENEN MADRE, QUE LOS PARIO UNA MUJER, QUE LAS TRATAN CON TAN SAÑA, OJALA Y MUY PRONTO LLEGUE ESE DIA


The Unstoppable

In 1993, at the forum in Montreal I had the pleasure of meeting Peter Gabriel along with my 13 year old daughter. In all my stammering, I announced to Peter that he was a Rock Star with a consience. I had just come back from Southern Africa and knew that something was up with all of the students I worked with requiring trips home in order to attend funerals but could not imagine the Aids pandemic which was to follow.

I thanked him for his work with Amnesty International, Witness, Womad etc. I want to thank him now for being of the same vintage and maintaining the dedication and hope with all that he does. I have been called "too innocent for this world" but get great strength from an adult daughter who has also chosen to fight the good fight. With great respect and admiration, Angelica


Great Collective Effort ; Positive Results.

I Trully Congratulate All envolved in this cause.
The presence of both Domestic and Foreign Personalities ,along with the voices of All of Us that support and are serious , consistent and persistant in the pursuit of Basic Justice for All.
When this Presence Is Heard Loud and Clear by the Goverment who has the obligation to resolve ;
I believe that its willingness is motivated to take Action.
A Positive Outcome should be expected.
Nothing Less .
Time will Tell.
And We Will be Here to be Witness .
Peace.
Baja: Body + Soul.


Women for Children

In 2006 Art for Humanity published the 'Women for Children' print portfolio which forms the basis of our art and poetry based public human rights advocacy campiagns. for details please see web site.

This collection is available for exhibition purposes and foccuses on highlighting the voices of women as well as their concerns regarding the rights and welfare of children.

For further information please contact me at janj@dut.ac.za.


Donde no hay Amor hay violencia

Desde aqui, fuera de Mexico me uno a Angelica Medina, donde esta el recuerdo de que somos las mujeres las que damos la vida? Que es la Madre Tierra la que nos alimenta asi como nosotras alimentamos a nuestros hijos. Hombre y mujeres debemos recordar a ese/a ninio/a que llevamos dentro, sobre todo esas personas que hacen esas barbaries y que posiblemente hayan sido maltratados cuando eran ninios...la cadena debe romperse, y debe empezar por nuestros propios corazones. Que el cambio fluya en Mexico y en el mundo entero, que la paz reine de una vez en este planeta, que las mujeres y hombres tengan el respeto que se merecen porque todos somos UNO y todos somos iguales ante los ojos de Dios, que desde ese conocimiento podamos crear un mundo mejor para nuestros hijos/as. Metakuye Oyasin


Bravo

Rejoicing with you. Bless you in your most valuable efforts for peace and dignity for all. Thank you for this very inspiring story.


Happy to oblige

Once again Peter is showing us it's good to "shake the tree"


Results of our Meeting with President Calderón

This is encouraging. I hope that the Mexican authorities mentioned are truly sincere in what they have said.


ME DA GUSTO.....

QUE PERSONAS EXTRANJERAS LES PREOCUPE EL DESTINO DE ESTE PAIS, ME DA MUCHO ORGULLO QUE GENTE COMO SAUL HERNANDEZ Y DIEGO LUNA, SE DEN TIEMPO PARA ALZAR LA VOZ JUNTO A PATRICIA CERVANTES, QUE SUFRE POR LA PERDIDA DE SU HIJA Y QUE LAS LEYES DE ESTE PAIS NO LE HAGAN JUSTICIA, OJALA Y NO ESTE MUY LEJANO EL DIA EN QUE LAS AUTORIDADES ESCLARESCAN QUE HA PASADO Y QUIEN O QUIENES SON LOS RESPONSABLES DE ESTA BARBARIE, TAL PARECE QUE LOS QUE LO HACEN NACIERON DEL SUELO, QUE NO TIENEN MADRE, QUE LOS PARIO UNA MUJER, QUE LAS TRATAN CON TAN SAÑA, OJALA Y MUY PRONTO LLEGUE ESE DIA