Against Violence in Mexico and in Favor of Immigration Relief in the US, They March in Los Angeles

Against the violence in Mexico and demanding that President Obama grant immigration relief to millions of undocumented immigrants, were two demands expressed today in the streets of Los Angeles through two separate marches organized by members of the community migrant.

Bertha Rodriguez-Santos

Around one hundred demonstrators called by the Resistance Front, which brings together several migrant organizations, marched before noon from Placita Olvera to the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles as part of the international mobilization days to request the presentation with life of the 43 students disappeared at the hands of the police in Ayotzinapa, Guerrero, Mexico.

Violence in Mexico in recent decades has increased forced migration to the United States. Above all, in the last 8 years in which more than 80 thousand people have died in the country as a result of the so-called war on drugs.

“Wherever you scratch in Mexico there are clandestine graves. How long is this going to stop?”, asked Antonia, one of the protesters in front of the Mexican consulate.

The violent events that occurred in Iguala, Guerrero on September 26 and the climate of anxiety that has spread throughout Mexico as a result of the disappearance of students, have a direct impact on migrant families.

“Many people emigrate due to violence and once here they find that the United States immigration policy does not protect them, but that millions have been deported and returned to violence in Mexico,” said Angela Sanbrano, executive director of the Mexican Network of Migrant Leaders and Organizations (Red Mx), participant in the march for legalization.

solidarity march

One of the people who has lived closely the pain caused by the violence in Mexico is Alma de Jesús Ramírez, a young Dreamer who was brought by her parents to the United States when she was little.

What happens in Guerrero affects her personally, shares Alma, because she is originally from Chilpancingo, in that entity in southern Mexico. Eight years ago, immigration agents deported his brother Angel and four years ago, the young man was kidnapped and tortured without his family being able to support him due to his immigration status.
“I am undocumented but I feel that I am lucky to be here because I have the right to demand for my family, to continue fighting but without the fear of being killed, without my life being in danger,” he told those present.

“It is very sad to see that my classmates, the students in other countries, are tortured for wanting the same thing that I want,” Alma commented, unable to contain her tears: “Seeing the faces of these young people gives me a lot of feeling because I am also a student and I have fought so much but I have never been afraid that someone will kill me and what they did is very brave. I want to be like them, I want to continue fighting on their behalf and I will be present when possible here with you”.

Present at this march were members of Unión del Barrio, Alerta Cali, the Committee for Democracy in Mexico, the Immigration Coalition of Southern California, the Indigenous Front of Binational Organizations (FIOB) and the Resistance Front, as well as members of the Latino community, including US-born youth of Hispanic origin.

The participants in the march maintained that they will continue pressure actions that are added to the mobilizations carried out in Mexico in solidarity with the relatives of the normalist students.

Estela Jiménez, who traveled from San Diego to participate in the march, said that in the next few days the organizations will define the strategies to follow to coordinate the struggle of a movement that seeks to achieve profound changes in Mexico, since it is urgent to stop atrocities such as the one registered in Guerrero at the same time that a total cleaning of government institutions is achieved.

March for the papers

After noon, a hundred people led by members of the Transnational Mexican Brotherhood left the corner of Olympic and Broadway boulevards, towards the United States federal building, which houses the offices of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE).

The march was held to protest anti-immigrant policies on the 20th anniversary of Proposition 187, approved by voters in 1994 and sponsored by then-California Governor Pete Wilson. It was the first law that made it a crime to live without documents in the United States.

Additionally, this law set the precedent for similar laws to be enacted in Congress and other states. One of those laws was HR 4437 or the Sensenbrenner initiative (proposed in the House of Representatives in 2005), which is a border protection, anti-terrorism and illegal migration control law.

The laws against migrants provoked massive mobilizations at the national level like the one carried out on March 25, 2006, when around a million people took to the streets of Los Angeles and many other cities in the country, to demand a stop to the anti-immigrant wave.

One of the organizers of this march was Gloria Saucedo, leader of the Transnational Mexican Brotherhood, who marched with dozens of activists and members of the migrant community; Also present was the girl Jersey Vargas, known among the migrant community for having become a defender of the rights of the undocumented by asking Pope Francis to intercede with Obama on behalf of migrant families.

This demonstration emphasized asking President Barack Obama to stop deportations and to execute an administrative order that grants immigration relief to the more than 11 million unauthorized residents.

This October 25, the streets of Los Angeles became a space where the globalization of the struggles for civil and human rights is more than evident.